Students in Newcastle have joined the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) to create the next generation of data scientists.

The Combined Authority, led by Mayor Jamie Driscoll, is supporting more than 70 Newcastle University MSc Data Science students to hone their skills and explore careers in data. Working with the National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD), the students have been helping three North East businesses to investigate and tackle real business challenges.


North of Tyne’s £1.63m investment in NICD will enable more than 200 companies in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland to grow by gaining insight from their data.

It is part of £29m NTCA investment in the region’s digital sector, in broadband and 5G infrastructure, data innovation and digital business growth, that will create hundreds of new jobs and unlock the potential of digital and tech, working with partners including Dynamo NE, Sage, Accenture, and the NHS.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “It’s great to be able to work with these talented, gifted young people and to see them put their skills to practical good use. “Our investment is all about unlocking the potential of the region’s flourishing digital sector. It’s about creating the right conditions for people, organisations and the region to thrive using technology and digital as enablers.”

The students used their data skills to reimagine the way in which NTCA presented the effect of its investments, to ensure residents’ wellbeing was at the heart of its work. Sage and Port of Tyne have also been supporting the students.

Mayor Driscoll said: “These students have come from all over the world to study in Newcastle. It’s really important they get a feel of what it’s like to live and work in the region.  Ideally, a good number of them will want to stay here, to be part of our promising digital future.”


Private and public sector organisations alike are generating and capturing more and more data but struggling to create value from it. Data analysis can help them use this information to reveal insights that could make them far more productive.

The National Innovation Centre for Data (NICD) exists to tackle this challenge and NTCA funding will create a bespoke team to focus on the business issues across the region. The funding guarantees that the benefits of a national centre are readily available for North of Tyne organisations.

Barry Hodgson, Director of Strategy at NICD, explained: “When we collaborate with organisations, we provide their people with the skills to run successful data-driven projects. “We’d ask any North of Tyne organisation that is interested in finding out more to get in touch.”

Get in touch with NICD by email or call 0191 208 4636.