Rolls-Royce establishes data alliance to help kickstart global economic upturn

Posted on 22 Apr 2020 by Jonny Williamson

What does recovery look like after Covid-19? Rolls-Royce has set up a consortium of data analytics experts challenged with finding new, faster ways of supporting businesses and governments globally as they recover from the economic impacts of Covid-19.

According to Rolls-Royce, Emer2gent will combine traditional economic, business, travel and retail data sets with behaviour and sentiment data, to provide new insights into, and practical applications to support, the global recovery from the current Covid-19 epidemic.

Early alliance members reportedly include Leeds Institute for Data Analytics; IBM; Google Cloud; The Data City; Truat; Rolls-Royce, and ODI Leeds. The alliance will be facilitated and co-ordinated by innovation specialists, Whitespace.

Together the initial wave of members brings the key elements of open innovation; data publication, licensing, privacy, security; data analytics capability; and collaborative infrastructure.

Emer2gent models aim to help get people and businesses back to work as soon as possible by identifying lead indicators of economic recovery cycles.

Emeg2gent - Guiding Principles

Image courtesy of Emer2gent

Businesses, both small and large, around the world, as well as governments, can use these insights to build the confidence they need to take early decisions, such as investments or policies, that could shorten or limit the recessionary impacts from the pandemic.

The alliance is voluntary and it’s expected that any insights will be published for free.

Caroline Gorski, global director of R2 Data Labs, the Rolls-Royce data innovation catalyst which started the alliance, explained: “We want the global economy to get better as soon as possible so people can get back to work.

“Our data innovation community can help do this and is at its best when it comes together for the common good.

“People, businesses and governments around the world have changed the way they spend, move, communicate and travel because of Covid-19 and we can use that insight, along with other data, to provide the basis for identifying what new insights and trends may emerge that signify the world’s adjustment to a ‘new normal’ after the pandemic.”

Professor Mark Birkin, Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA), University of Leeds, commented: “The Covid crisis has demonstrated the need for governments and their advisers to seek real world insights into mobility, behaviour and human contact networks.

“At LIDA we believe that there are mutual benefits from access to transactional data for scientific research, business and commerce, so will be working as part of the alliance to facilitate the secure sharing of data and to connect Emer2gent partners with expertise within the academic community.”

Emer2gent has set up a website for potential members to register their interest.

The first challenges have already been issued to the community, including one to identify lead indicators of economic recovery which businesses can use to build the confidence they need for investment or activities that will shorten or limit any recessionary impact from the virus.

R2 Data Labs

  •  Announced at the end of 2017.
  • A standalone ecosystem  building on 30 years’ experience in data-led services and business model innovation.
  • Uses advanced data analytics, industrial AI and machine learning techniques to unlock design, manufacturing and operational efficiencies.
  • At the heart of R2 Data Labs sit ‘Data Innovation Cells’ – mixed discipline teams of experts working in collaboration across Rolls-Royce’s operations to rapidly test new ideas and develop new innovation and services.
  • The innovation catalyst already includes more than 500 partners from across Europe, India, the US and Asia-Pacific, including start-ups, educational establishments, industrial businesses and public sector bodies.
  • “Accelerating future digital technology capabilities and providing the expertise and forward-thinking to solve industry challenges and meet the demands of a changing world.”

*Header image courtesy of Csaba Nagy from Pixabay.