Sheffield Hallam joins Turing University Network

3rd October 2023

Sheffield Hallam University has been announced as a new member of a network of higher education institutions that will work to use data science and artificial intelligence (AI) for social good.

The Turing University Network, developed by the Alan Turing Institute, offers UK universities with an interest in data science and AI, the opportunity to engage and collaborate both with industry and the public sector.

It will also connect universities across the data science and AI ecosystem, provide access to bespoke network activity and encourage collaborations as opportunities arise.

Professor Rory Duncan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said:

“Sheffield Hallam University is delighted to join the Turing University Network. We recognise the importance and fast-changing nature of data science and AI and are already carrying out world-leading research in this area.

“The collaboration this network will foster across the private and public sector will accelerate our research and its impact. We look forward to working with partners through the network to bring together our expertise to enable us to respond more effectively to global challenges in this field.”

Sheffield Hallam is home to an award-winning research centre dedicated to addressing global challenges arising from the growth of AI and cybercrime.

The Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) brings together researchers, law enforcement agencies, policy makers and the public to bridge the gap between academic research and operational reality.

The Centre has a number of international partnerships, including collaborations with Europol which has led to major advances in tackling cybercrime and cryptocurrency criminality and the development of a world-first AI accountability framework for law enforcement agencies.

It was recently shortlisted for Times Higher Education Award for its work on a security platform with the United Nations that has been used to keep UN agency staff safe in some of the world’s most volatile environments, including the current conflict in Ukraine.

Professor Babak Akhgar OBE, Director of CENTRIC at Sheffield Hallam University, said:

Joining the Turing University Network will enable us to develop new connections across the data science and AI landscape, bringing significant benefits to research and innovation in this fast-growing field.

“My team in CENTRIC have extensive experience of research which helps to address global security challenges which we hope to build on through the Network.”

The University recently launched the Global Security and Society Institute with its partner university, La Trobe (Australia), to tackle global security challenges including cybercrime and modern slavery.

Dr Jean Innes, Chief Executive Officer of The Alan Turing Institute, said:

“We’re really pleased to welcome our new members to the network. We hope that they will benefit from being part of our data science and AI group and find opportunities for new, meaningful collaborations across the data science and AI landscape.”

The network first launched as a pilot in April 2023 with 36 universities from the Turing’s university partners and Turing Network Development Award recipients. Sheffield Hallam is one of 29 new members, taking the total number of universities in the network to 65.

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