New academy to help Europe meet big data skills gap

Open University researchers are behind an innovative project to establish a European Data Science Academy (EDSA)

The academy will be a new online platform for training data scientists across Europe. It will also help organisations and businesses across the EU meet the urgent demand for professionals with the skills to manage big data.

Demand for professionals with the skills to manage large amounts of data is expected to grow by 160% by 2020, creating nearly 56,000 jobs per year in the UK alone.

The development of the EDSA will create a supply of professionals with the knowledge and skills to help businesses remain competitive in an increasingly data-heavy environment.

The project will be led by the OU’s Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) – the University’s research centre for cognitive and learning sciences, artificial intelligence and semantic technologies, and multimedia. Professor John Domingue, deputy director of KMi will be co-ordinating the project. 

With investment of €2.9m (£2.2m) from the EU, development of the EDSA will draw on the expertise of a number of leading educational institutions and data science research organisations from across Europe. Educational institutions involved in the creation of the EDSA are: the Jozef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), Kungiga Tekniska Hoegskolan (Sweden), the University of Southampton, and the Technisce Universiteit Eindhoven (Netherlands). Other organisations involved are: the London-based Open Data Institute (ODI) which was founded by the creator of the Web – Tim Berners-Lee, Fraunhofer IAIS a leading German applied research institute, Idexlab, a French open innovation company, and Persontyle, a UK social enterprise focused on numeracy and data science.

The European Data Science Academy is due to start offering courses from late 2015.

KMi is the OU’s research centre for Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Technologies, and Multimedia. For further information please visit:

For further information on The European Data Science Academy please visit:


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