The University of Bath has successfully applied to join the Turing University Network, which brings together data science and AI researchers from institutions across the UK and beyond.

Led by the Alan Turing Institute, membership of the network recognises Bath’s strengths in these fields and will lead to new opportunities for researchers and students, supporting the University’s strategic theme of Digital in particular.

Professor Damien Coyle, a Turing AI Fellow and Director of the Bath Institute for the Augmented Human, led the application. He said: “This is excellent news and I am delighted that we have been accepted as a Turing University Network member. The University’s talented AI and data science research community will now have more opportunities to engage with a first-class network and to contribute to addressing grand challenges of national importance with the ambition of achieving impact broadly.

“Naturally we expect membership to lead to new collaborations, relationships and research projects between Bath and other member institutions, but I am sure it will bring colleagues at Bath working on AI and data science closer together too - we see involvement with the Turing University Network as recognition of the diverse research and education excellence in fundamental and applied AI and data science across multiple faculties, institutes, centres, groups and doctoral training centres at Bath.”

Among its plans for membership, Bath intends to cultivate closer links with the Alan Turing Institute, which is named after Alan Turing, the British scientist considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. More opportunities for students to go on placements with the Institute are anticipated, as are opportunities to host visiting students from the network at Bath.

In addition a series of co-hosted workshops, conferences and events aligned with Bath’s expertise and the Institute’s ‘grand challenges’ are being planned.

Professor Özgür Şimşek, Deputy Head of the Department of Computer Science, and Head of the AI and Machine Learning Research Group, will act as the principal academic liaison between the university and the Alan Turing Institute, developing collaborative research strategy and activity. She said: “AI and data science is at the core of much of our research excellence and transcends disciplinary boundaries at Bath.

“Bath is committed to supporting the Alan Turing Institute agenda and strategy to create a world leading ecosystem for AI research in the UK. We aim to build on and contribute key resources to support the UK AI ecosystems in areas including digital twins, open-source infrastructure, research software engineering, AI engineers, data infrastructures and high-performance computing.

“At the same time we will build expertise to communicate with and educate the public on responsible AI, regulation and the future of AI, and driving scientific, economic and societal benefits for the UK.”

Dr Jean Innes, Chief Executive Officer of The Alan Turing Institute, said: “We’re really pleased to welcome our new members to the network. We hope that they will benefit from being part of our data science and AI group and find opportunities for new, meaningful collaborations across the data science and AI landscape.”

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