Public sector research projects that grapple with vast swathes of data will receive an additional £73m of public money as the government looks to push big data as a key economic driver for the UK in the next three years.
The schemes receiving the funding range from medical research, unlocking data related to the arts and humanities as well as economic studies and environmental research.
The Medical Research Council will receive the bulk of the newly available funds, netting £50m for a range of bioinformatics projects. These projects are particularly data intensive as they directly affect how biological data is sorted, stored and processed, thereby affecting all other research that makes use of the data.
Elsewhere, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will receive £4.6m investment in projects including one looking to make use of pre-existing data on potential environmental hazards posed by so-called "space weather risks".
The funds will also be used to better manage the data stores NERC already has as well as digitise the reams of paper-based data the organisation holds. NERC will also invest in a new cloud-based digital workspace for its researchers.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) will receive a further £14m for its projects that make use of data collected by businesses and local government organisations in order to allow academic researchers to get a better understanding of what it means.
Professor Paul Boyle, chief executive of the ESRC, explained: "The sheer volume of data that is now being created presents a significant resource that can be used for the mutual benefit of organisations and academic research. This in turn can help shape our knowledge of society and help us prepare and evaluate better government policies in the future."
Government research found that 58,000 more jobs would be created in the UK by big data and its associated analytics technologies by 2017, contributing £216bn to the UK economy.
Science minister David Willetts said that the UK's focus on big data would be crucial to keep it competing with the world's most technologically advanced countries.
"Making the most of large and complex data is a huge priority for government as it has the potential to transform public and private sector organisations, drive research and development, increase productivity and innovation, and enable market-changing products and services," he said.
"The new data research centres will help the UK grasp these opportunities and get ahead in the global race."
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