RBS Opens Data Innovation Research Unit at Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University's Bayes Centre

The tax-payer backed bank has leased space at the University’s recently opened data innovation hub, joining other industries, academics and public sector partners at the centre of the city’s data science community. 

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has leased space at the Bayes Centre where it plans to foster innovation and seek ways to help develop new products and services.

The purpose of the new hub is to explore solving real-world problems through scientific enquiry, inspiring design and industrial collaboration.

The move will see between 10 and 20 bank staff based at the Centre, where they will join key players from academia and industry. RBS has said it will send staff covering various functions, including data specialists, risk, human resources and finance to work closely with researchers from the University’s Schools of Business, Informatics and Mathematics, and its super-computing facility, the EPCC.

The £45 million Bayes Centre, which opened in October 2018, aims to foster links between researchers and a range of sectors, such as financial services. It is the first of five data-driven innovation hubs, which are due to be created as part of the £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

RBS is already working with data analytics experts at the EPCC on a range of data-driven financial services projects and with the University’s Business School Credit Research Centre. The latest announcement coincides with the bank holding a ‘spike’ at the Bayes Centre, where a dedicated team was given time and resources to focus on specific business challenges.

New Unit to Foster Collaboration Between Industry and Academia

Bayes Centre director Michael Rovatsos said: “The partnership presents a unique opportunity to help create better services for Royal Bank of Scotland customers and understand how data can benefit the financial sector in the UK and globally. Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to join us in the Centre underlines the importance of collaborating with industry – one of our priorities.”

Frank Meere, director of Data at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Our people are part of the Edinburgh data science and innovation community. That’s why it is important to us that we join forces with other world-leading data science and artificial intelligence partners at the Bayes Centre, where we will work together on data-driven innovations that solve real-world problems.

“This week, Royal Bank of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh have started working together on a number of opportunities to apply machine learning, artificial intelligence solutions to improve financial services. We’re very excited about this crucial next step in our collaboration journey with the University of Edinburgh and the Bayes Centre.”

According to the Bayes Centre, as part of the UK’s second largest financial centre, banks, insurance companies and pension providers within the City Region are ideally placed to benefit from investment in data-driven innovation and respond to the challenges and opportunities of the data revolution.



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