After a round of rigorous applications and interviews Health Data Research UK (HDR-UK), the UK’s new health and biomedical data science research institute, is awarding £30 million in funding to six sites across the UK. This funding will be used to support research into harnessing the potential of data science to transform the UK’s healthcare.
A further £24m will be provided by HDR-UK for upcoming activities, including a Future Talent Programme and work to address targeted data research challenges through additional partnerships.
Scotland, Cambridge, London and the Midlands were among some of the sites to be selected to become foundation partners in Health Data Research UK. The Scottish site will be run by a partnership including the University of Glasgow alongside the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Strathclyde and St Andrews.
Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak, Vice Principal of the University of Glasgow and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “I am delighted that Scotland has been chosen as one of the six data sites in the UK. In Scotland, and indeed here at the University of Glasgow, we have world-class expertise in healthcare data and understand fully its potential to revolutionise healthcare through precision medicine.”
“Scotland is in an excellent position to be a leader in the field of health data, and are in a unique position to be able to harness its power for research and scientific advancement through precision medicine.”
Professor Jill Pell, Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, who will be leading the University of Glasgow’s involvement in the project, said: “The University of Glasgow is delighted that Scotland has been chosen as an HDR-UK substantive site.
“This initiative will build on the successes of Farr Scotland in improving the ways that we access, protect and analyse data to improve the health of the Scottish population and reduce health inequalities.”
Creating a Collaborative Research Community
Each site will receive long-term funding awards and join a collaborative research community, which will work to harness data science to make significant improvements to people’s health. They will work closely with NHS bodies to translate scientific data findings into benefits for patients.
The scientific focus of the sites will be on four strategic themes: Actionable Health Data Analytics, Precision Medicine, 21st Century Trial Design, Modernising Public Health.
HDR-UK aims to discover new scientific applications of data science, to train the next generation of data scientists and to create a UK-wide research and innovation ecosystem for health data research.
Professor Andrew Morris, Director of Health Data Research UK, commented: “By working together and with NHS and industry partners to the highest ethical standards, our vision is to harness data science on a national scale. This will unleash the potential for data and technologies to drive breakthroughs in medical research, improving the way we are able to prevent, detect and diagnose diseases like cancer, heart disease and asthma.”