The Data Lab

The Data Lab


The Data Lab, a Scottish government-backed data innovation centre, plays a key role in helping the industry across Scotland to capitalise on a growing market opportunity in data science and data innovation. 

We believe that collaboration across sectors is key to supporting Scotland in unlocking the value in data and generating significant economic, social and scientific benefits. That is why at The Data Lab we do everything in our power to cultivate an ecosystem of collaboration in Scotland. 

With a focus on strengthening Scotland’s industry and transferring world-leading research from Scotland’s universities, The Data Lab helps develop and support a series of industry-led collaborative innovation projects. We connect world-class researchers and data scientists with local industry and public sector organisations, giving them access to experts who can work with them to find innovative solutions to real problems. 

In addition, we work with industry and universities throughout Scotland to create a pipeline of talented data scientists, equipped with the relevant skills through The Data Lab MSc programme, PhD funding, placements and secondments, online learning and Continued Professional Development. 

To further support our work, we regularly organise and support community building events and activities. We connect academics, data experts and students with industry and public sector organisations through networking events such as workshops, meetups, and DataFest, a yearly festival of data innovation taking place each March all across Scotland. 

As part of the multi-disciplinary environment of the Bayes Centre, a thriving hub of data science expertise with its focus on data-driven innovation, we encourage a collaborative environment to solve real-world problems, unlocking the value of data and allowing its huge potential to be realised. 

Our Purpose 

Our core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data for Scotland. We believe that collaborative innovation is the key to unlocking that value, which is why The Data Lab connects world-leading researchers and data scientists with local industry and public sector organisations, giving them access to experts who can help collaborate on solutions to key problems. 

Example projects

At The Data Lab we aim to strengthen Scotland’s local industry and transfer world-leading research in informatics and computer science into the global marketplace. We have brought together a series of collaborative innovation projects which have a clear end benefit to Scotland. All projects have had a clear commercialisation outcome in mind and have a contribution from an industrial or public sector partner. Recent examples include:

  • The FIT Home initiative pioneered by the Albyn Housing Society, in partnership with Carbon Dynamic and NHS Highland, which aims to develop housing solutions to enable people to live independently for longer; 
  • A business-led collaborative innovation between Ecometrica and the University of Edinburgh, funded by The Data Lab, offering commercial clients the ability to map the water footprint of crops; 
  • A partnership between Aggreko and the University of Strathclyde to deliver academic insight and data science support using the latest machine-learning techniques to enhance the Aggreko Remote Monitoring system (ARM), resulting in an improvement in fleet reliability through data insight. 

For further examples of collaborative projects brought together by The Data Lab, please visit the case studies page on our website.


Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive Officer, The Data Lab 
Gillian Docherty is Chief Executive of The Data Lab, an innovation centre with a mission of maximising the value for Scotland from data. The Data Lab facilitates partnerships between industry and academia, supporting data science and artificial intelligence projects as well as funding and running first-class, ground-breaking education programmes. 

Jude McCorry, Head of Business Development, The Data Lab 
As a member of the leadership team, Jude is responsible for the business development function at The Data Lab, which delivers the academic collaborative projects, working with both the public and private sector across Scotland to deliver, novel, innovative and life-changing data science projects. 

Brian Hills, Head of Data, The Data Lab 
As a member of the leadership team, Brian is responsible for technical leadership across our programmes and the development of our data science and skills team. He is particularly interested in developing strategy and execution to scale the benefits of data innovation across the country.

For more information on

Bayes Centre
47 Potterow