Imperial wins major grant to develop data clusters with top global partners


Data screen

Imperial has won a major grant to establish data clusters with some of the world’s top institutions.

The project, funded by Research England, will see Imperial partner with Europe’s largest fundamental research organisation, Germany’s leading university and Asia’s most advanced technological university.

The three clusters include:

  • Mathematical sciences, with France’s Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
  • Computing, AI and robotics, with Germany’s Technical University of Munich (TUM)
  • Technology and healthcare, with Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Each cluster will; develop flagship international studentships, expand academic exchange, accelerate frontier research with seed funding, and launch bespoke doctoral programmes.

Imperial's Global Data Observatory
Imperial's Global Data Observatory is used to analyse and display complex data sets 

Global economies, societies, science and discovery are being transformed by data and technology.

They are also central to the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which is fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, across all disciplines, economies and industries.

Imperial and TUM formed a flagship partnership last year
Imperial and TUM formed a flagship partnership last year

President Alice Gast said: “Imperial’s research and teaching are at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution.

"Leading in the next generation of data-driven innovation requires excellence in research, education of top students and collaboration across borders.

"Imperial research in emerging technologies spans diverse topics such as medicine, agriculture and transportation. This work relies on the ability to collect, process and use increasingly vast amounts of data.

“By collaborating to create new data clusters with CNRS, TUM and NTU we will be able to scale-up and accelerate advances in mathematical sciences, AI, robotics, technology and healthcare.”

Research England’s International Investment Initiative (i3) fund is designed to support the scaling up of existing strategically significant internationally collaborative research relationships between English Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and universities and research organisations outside the UK.

CNRS, France – Mathematical sciences

Richard Craster
Imperial's Professor Richard Craster leads the UMI Abraham de Moivre

The Department of Mathematics has developed a strong relationship with France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) – the largest fundamental research organisation in Europe.

This culminated in the launch of a joint mathematics laboratory last year – the UMI Abraham de Moivre – based at the South Kensington Campus – the first ever UK-based CNRS laboratory.

The UMI has already hosted mathematicians from Paris, Toulouse, Marseille and Lyon for up to three months at a time. The visiting French mathematicians have worked with Imperial colleagues on areas such as swarming behaviour, optimal transport and simulations of rare events, and have already published papers together.

Mathematics and statistics are at the heart of the data revolution sweeping across much of science and broadening our activity with CNRS to include the interplay between data and physics, engineering, medicine and life sciences allows far greater, and more rapid, scientific reach.

TUM, Germany – Computing, AI and robotics

Aldo Faisal
Imperial and TUM  have developed a new research programme in AI-Healthcare-Robotics 

Imperial and TUM recently formed a new strategic partnership with plans to build research links in computer science and informatics, medicine and medical sciences, bioengineering, molecular sciences, life sciences, physics, energy and new materials, and mechanical and aerospace engineering.

The two institutions have developed a new research programme in AI-Healthcare-Robotics underpinned by a collaborative PhD programme for 10 students, who will have access to world-leading academic supervisors and state-of-the art facilities at both universities.

Imperial and TUM researchers are already collaborating in areas such as computational neurotechnology and AI for healthcare, machine learning for biomedical imaging, diagnostic sensors and therapies to the brain via flexible surgical access and human-centred robotics.

NTU, Singapore – Technology and healthcare

LKCMedicine medical school in Singapore is run jointly by Imperial and NTU

Imperial and Nanyang Technology University (NTU) jointly run the LKCMedicine medical school, which officially opened in 2017. The state-of-the-art campus builds on Imperial’s world-renowned medical curriculum as it trains the next generation of Singaporean doctors

Imperial and NTU researchers are already collaborating in: Microfluidics for isolation of microvesicles in diabetes, deep phenotyping in population studies, mobile apps for health, neuro-imaging procedures and Brain Bank development and neuropathology.



Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications Division

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