09 Jan 2015

New Academy to Help Europe Meet Big Data Skills Gap

European Data Science Academy

European Data Science Academy

OU researchers are behind an innovative project to establish a European Data Science Academy (EDSA) – a new online platform for training data scientists across Europe. The Academy will 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 per cent by 2020, creating nearly 56,000 jobs per year in the UK alone (See reference below). 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. He said:
“This project is a tremendous opportunity to help close the skills gap across the EU for data scientists with the knowledge businesses need to help them meet the demands of an ever-increasingly data-based economy.”

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.
Professor Domingue added: “Harnessing the significant expertise in the areas of data science research and online learning of all the nine partners involved, the European Data Science Academy will offer a cutting-edge learning programme that will equip data science professionals with the much-sought-after skills businesses need to thrive.”

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


Notes to Editors

About the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) at The Open University
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:

Skills gaps in big data: A study conducted by management consultancy firm McKinsey found that in 2011 the United States would require 60 percent more graduates to be able to handle large amounts of data as part of their daily jobs. See:

See also:

- e-skills UK:

- Report from Department for Business, Innovation & Skills - Seizing the data opportunity: a strategy for UK data capability (December 2013)

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