Scottish University To Develop Big Data Tech

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Robert Gordon University targets big data analytics for the oil and gas sector, with launch of data technologies centre

Robert Gordon University (RGU) is to launch a technology centre, with the purpose of developing big data analytics for the oil and gas sector.

The development comes as Scotland seeks to extract the maximum efficiencies from the North Sea Oil fields, amid concerns of depleting resources ahead of the Scottish referendum.

Big Data

The RGU centre is being aimed firmly at the oil and gas sector, in order to develop suitable analytics capabilities to help the industry improve internal efficiencies when dealing with huge quantities of data.

This includes being able to help the industry increase speed to first oil, as well as enhancing production, and improving asset maintenance and reliability. The centre also hopes to develop analytics that will reduce health and safety risks, environmental impact, and also assist with a general reduction in costs.

Data analyticsAt the moment, the oil and gas industry is being confronted with a great deal of data generated by exploration and production operations. Indeed, offshore installations reportedly provide terabytes of data daily.

In an effort to tackle this, the RGU centre will be launched sometime this month with a core team of 10 research staff, as well as business development and administrative support. The team hope to exploit RGU’s existing expertise in data modelling, smart information systems and knowledge management. The initiative is aligned with the Data Lab, which is a forthcoming Scottish innovation centre that specialises in data science.

“As the enormous potential of data analytics is increasingly recognised by industry and by government,” said Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU.

“RGU intends to play a leadership role in securing the benefits for the oil and gas industry,” said Professor von Prondzynski. “This will enhance the standing of the university, but will also support Scotland’s plans for economic growth and success.”

Professor Ian Allison, head of the School of Computing Science and Digital Media, said: “Computer science at RGU has an excellent track record of delivering research and development with our commercial partners.

“The investment RGU is making in this Centre will support our ambition for the city of Aberdeen to be a global leader in the exploitation of smart data technologies for oil and gas.”

Scottish Innovation

Scotland has a long history of innovation in the field of technology. This week it was announced that a High Performance Computing (HPC) network in the Highlands of Scotland will be connected to computer clusters scattered across the UK and around the globe.

And earlier this year, it was revealed that Scotland’s biggest data centre, in Glenrothes, will be the UK’s first to run on fully renewable power.

Back in 2012 a start-up from the University of Edinburgh developed the world’s smallest smart antenna, which was more power efficient than traditional designs and capable of 4G connectivity.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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