Alan Turing, pictured at the Second World War code-breaking centre at Bletchley Park / Susannah Ireland

Institute will be part of London's new 'knowledge quarter'

The new British Alan Turing Institute for Data Science, dedicated to the British codebreaker, is set to be based in the British Library and will have offshoots around the country.

The institute will be in the British Library, as part of the government’s plans for the ‘knowledge quarter’ — an area around Kings Cross, Euston and Bloomsbury in London that will include the British Museum and the University of London. There will be around 35 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations based in the area.

Many had expected the institute to be housed in Manchester, where Turing did much of his most important work.

The institute will also have offshoots — which it calls ‘spurs’ — in universities and businesses across the country. That will include some in “our great northern cities”, according to the government, as part of the ‘northern powerhouse’ plan.

Over 20 universities have applied to be part of the institute and the winner will be announced soon, the Treasury said.

The institute was announced in the budget in March, as part of a range of plans intended to strengthen links between academia and the tech industry.

It will receive £42 million of government investment over the next five years, which the government says will help Britain’s big data expertise.

The institute will be run by a joint venture of universities chosen by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, together with other funders that could include businesses and charities. They will work together to research big data.

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