L to R above: Gillian Docherty, CEO, The Data Lab, Sir Ian Wood, Kate Forbes, MSP, Ian Watt, CEO of Code the City and Maggie McGinlay, Deputy Chief Executive of Opportunity North East.
Joined by friends, colleagues and even an MSP, The Data Lab held their Aberdeen launch event at the ONE Tech Hub on Schoolhill.
Over 130 people from across the local business community attended the launch event. MSP Kate Forbes spoke on the challenges facing Scotland in digital technology but also the unique opportunities in Aberdeen to lead the country in solving these challenges. The reskilling of the already highly skilled workforce alongside the talent being produced by the Universities are key to this. The presentations from Data Lab sponsored MSc students showcased this upskilling and the value of data science to SME’s.
Our keynote speaker Peter Van Manen, expert in high-tech control and data systems on Formula One racing cars, spoke of his experiences in pushing the edge of data analytics in Formula One and how they easily transferred to other industries. He gave some incredible examples – how flow monitoring transferred to child healthcare, predictive tire degradation to predicting failure in graphite rods in nuclear reactors. These challenges, solutions and the inspiration they led to left an equal amount of excitement and nervousness at the scale of opportunity available to us in the North East.
“It is an extremely exciting time just now for technology, data science and AI here in Aberdeen. Our move means we’re now based in the very heart of the city’s tech community, which will help us significantly build on the relationships we have forged, while also creating new ones, as we demonstrate our commitment to helping businesses capitalise on the opportunities innovating with data science and artificial intelligence can present.” Gillian Docherty OBE, Chief Executive
New Coding for Women initiative announced
As well as speaking about our work creating a data & AI ecosystem in Aberdeen, MSP Kate Forbes took the opportunity to officially launch Code the City’s latest collaborative initiative, Coding for Women, a new digital skills initiative for women and school children in Aberdeen.
Working closely with ONE CodeBase, Code the City has partnered with The Data Lab and Oracle specialists, Inoapps, to offer two specialist programmes. Young Coders and specific digital workshops for mothers looking to return to the workplace will offer the opportunity to learn important, up-to-date literacy skills that are crucial to supporting Scotland’s growing digital economy.
This exciting collaboration will see people of all ages given the opportunity to learn vital digital skills and to meet up regularly to learn about and practice coding and data science.
Jude McCorry, head of business development at The Data lab, said: “There is a real change in Aberdeen around digital technology, and there is a great collaborative, supportive community coming to the fore which we can thank organisations such as Code the City for encouraging.”
Ian Watt, CEO of Code the City: “Code The City run regular data meet ups at the ONE Tech Hub, normally on the first Tuesday of the month. This is a thriving networking event with over 50 attendees each month, who come from industry, academia, and the public and third sectors. Their next session, on 3rd September, is a showcase of the most interesting summer projects from MSc AI and Data Science students at Aberdeen University and RGU. You can find details here. New attendees are always welcome. Food and drink is provided.”