Computing at Brighton

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Creative big data project launched

Entrepreneurs, business people and artists are backing a £1.3m project to boost business growth in the Sussex-to-London region.

They packed the project’s launch at the University of Brighton’s School of Media in Edward Street, Brighton, and heard how the scheme will combine the skills, assets and resources of creatives, technologists and data scientists to generate new business growth in the Coast to Capital region.

Digital Research & Innovation Value Accelerator or ‘DRIVA Arts DRIVA’ enables technology small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), creative arts practitioners and cultural organisations to benefit from personalised funding opportunities, resources and expertise, innovation events, mentoring and a chance to win cash awards, alongside real time access to big data from Gatwick Airport.

Speaker Dr Martin De Saulles, Principal Lecturer at the University’s School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, said: “The project is an exciting opportunity for small businesses to experiment with some massive and unique data sets. I’m looking forward to seeing what types of business models emerge as participating companies innovate with Gatwick data.”

Katherine Courtney, Strategic Advisor and former UK Government Enterprise Director and Space Agency CEO, said: “Data-driven innovation is a key enabler of business growth and core to the UK’s Industrial Strategy. DRIVA presents a great opportunity for innovators to generate ideas for exciting new applications and services – and to find partners and funding to get them off the ground.”

Morgan McCarthy, Managing Director CDO Partners, which helps put data at the heart of business models, said: “The opportunity to work with world-class academic expertise at the University of Brighton and an organisation of the size and complexity of Gatwick Airport will enable us to develop truly transformational solutions to large scale challenges.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the programme can register at

The DRIVA project is receiving funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, established by the European Union, the Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. It is also supported by public funds from the Arts Council England.

Hedley Swain, from Arts Council England, said: “This project promises an exciting and long-lasting legacy for the cultural economy of the South East.”

Stephanie Thomson • March 14, 2019

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