The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP); have agreed an historic Growth Deal with the Government which will see £129.1million invested in Swindon and Wiltshire.
£12.8million has been confirmed in the first year, and as part of the Government’s on-going commitment to the SWLEP it has provided an indicative award of a further £116.3million of funding from 2016/17 onwards.
The deal will help to create up to 1,500 jobs and generate up to £70million in public and private investment and will assist in the promotion and development of the Corsham Institute.
Part of the UK Government’s digital investment programme will include the creation of the Alan Turing Institute. Alan Turing is probably most celebrated for his work at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, where he worked for the Government’s Code and Cypher School, devising various techniques to break German ciphers, including the electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. Winston Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister, said that Turing made the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany.
He was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, as well as a marathon and ultra-distance runner. His work was extremely significant in the development of computer science, producing the Turing machine – a fore runner to today’s personal and mobile computers.
So how will Corsham follow in this significant footsteps? Jeffrey Thomas, of the Corsham Institute explains “As a society we are producing more data than ever before, from every time we switch on the kettle and update our social media, somewhere these transactions and interactions are stored. We call this Big (and Fast) Data and cracking Big Data is similar to cracking the Enigma. The Work currently being undertaken by the Corsham Institute continues Turing’s work and the genius that was performed at Bletchley Park.”
“Beneath Corsham our partner, Ark Data Centres, hold a million square feet of secure, sustainable space in the old Bath Stone Mines, which lends itself perfectly to store all this data, ready for when analysts need to access it.”
Professor of Cryptology, Nigel Smart, from Bristol University spoke to BBC Wiltshire about Big Data, “We are producing data at a rate unprecedented in human existence. We’ll have more information about what everybody is doing, or what things are doing, so we can analyse this data to benefit the man in the street or society as a whole.”
The Corsham Institute is establishing the UK Centre for digital society learning, research, development and enterprise, it seeks to establish the Corsham, Swindon and Wiltshire digital community as a globally-renowned and respected digital and information economy cluster. The programmes and activities will make a major contribution to UK information economy, industrial and Big Data technology strategies through supporting product, service and network developments with national and global relationships.
The Government is currently funding several transformational developments around Big Data in the UK.
Corsham Institute; UK Government working in partnership with the SWLEP and the Corsham Institute to progress the Master Plan for the Corsham in Wiltshire area and further feasibility work to underpin the development of the Corsham Institute campus.
Collaborative discussions with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on the business planning and feasibility study exercises for the Corsham Institute are currently underway.