Forming partnerships and collaborating with other organisations is essential if we are going to fully address the complex challenges faced by cities.

The UBDC is based at the University of Glasgow but we have associates at University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, University of Reading, University of Sheffield and University of Cambridge. This not only provides us with a wide range of expertise and broadens our research areas, but it also extends our geographical coverage well beyond Scotland.

The relationships we have with organisations and businesses – detailed below - enable us to make data collected by others more readily available for research use, to provide much-needed capacity building and to influence the development of government data policy.

Who we work with

ESRC Big Data Network

The UBDC is part of the ESRC Big Data Network. Our partners within the network include:


UK Data Service
Administrative Data Research Network
Consumer Data Research Centre
Business and Local Government Data Research Centre


The ESRC invested in the Big Data Network Phase 2 (BDN2) in order to make data, routinely collected by business and local government organisations, accessible for research of mutual benefit to data owners and in ways that safeguard individuals’ identities. The research Centres, along with UK Data Service and ADRN, make a significant contribution towards ensuring the future sustainability of the UK research competitiveness, supporting the UK in maximising its innovation potential and driving economic growth.


You can find out more about the BDN2 on our FAQs page.

CBS – the Dutch National Statistics organisation

In October 2017, Mirela Causevic, a data scientist from the Center for Big Data Statistics (CBDS) in the Netherlands, joined UBDC for on a three-week fellowship supported by the ESRC SASNet fellowship scheme. Through the course of her visit, Mirela engaged with our researchers and data service providers in an exploratory project leading to some comparisons of UBDC’s UK-based travel and mobility data with official statistics and data resources available to CBDS in the Netherlands. This work culminated with Mirela presenting a document of proposed ideas and future collaborations between the two centres having established a clear commonality in research aims and highlighting areas for sharing expertise and data sources for similar methodological questions. UBDC and CBDS will continue working together in 2018.


UBDC and CBS (the Dutch National Statistics organisation and parent of the Centre for Big Data Statistics) have established a positive working relationship and collaborations such as Mirela’s fellowship visit offer further opportunities to share insights, best practice and data. UBDC is providing knowledge of its novel research methods and data modelling approaches, systems and techniques for data acquisition and management as well as access to its data products and services. In turn, the Centre benefits from CBS’ international leadership and inspiring innovation around data and is learning a great deal about priorities and gaps facing evidence-based decision making and about where our Centre’s contributions may fit in in a global context.


Find out more about how we are sharing our expertise on the CBS website.

Scottish Informatics and Linkage Collaboration (SILC)

The UBDC partners with Administrative Data Research Centre – Scotland and The Farr Institute as the Scottish Informatics and Linkage Collaboration. SILC occupies an important role within the linkage community, by offering a range of services and facilities to its members to enable efficient data linkage.


Through SILC, members benefit from shared office, computing and indexing resources at the BioQuarter safe haven in Edinburgh. SILC does not carry out its own research; rather external researchers access the facilities provided by SILC through one of the partners comprising the broader collaboration.


While partners retain their distinct roles within the linkage community, this arrangement supports the process of knowledge sharing and best practice between partners in key areas such as legal and ethical considerations.


As well as our ongoing collaborative work on safeguarding data, we jointly hosted a Research Showcase in 2016 that was attended by around 200 representatives from academia, NHS, Scottish Government, local councils, Industry and knowledge transfer organisations.


You can find out more about data linkage on our FAQs page.

Data Owners

Many organisations that gather or accumulate large quantities of data lack the resources to undertake its curation and analysis. They may wish to realise their data’s potential for transforming planning or services but need research skills or capacity to do that.


Sharing data with the research community via UBDC’s expert services can reveal and validate its value as a key source of evidence for policy development or as a means of generating economic impact.


Organisations sharing their data through UBDC include:

  • Scottish Government
  • Local councils
  • Met Office
  • UCAS
  • Strava
  • British Geological Survey
  • Registers of Scotland


The UBDC is keen to collaborate with organisations large and small who want to work with data to improve their business and their communities. By sharing knowledge, data, and expertise, we can better inform urban innovations and policy development in the UK and beyond.


Find out how to benefit from sharing your data.


Contact us