Students Staff

12 October 2015

Chief Scientific Adviser to boost public services with data-driven approach

County Hall in Chelmsford

The University and Essex County Council are working together to boost economic and social development in the county

A Chief Scientific Adviser is to be appointed in Essex to bring rigorous scientific data to the heart of policymaking.

The new post is a dynamic collaboration between Essex County Council and the University of Essex which aims to bring research expertise to bear on social and economic issues.

The post, which is advertised this week, is believed to be the first in the UK involving a university and county council. It will champion data science as a key driver of the economy and its role in underpinning new models for health protection and social care.

The three-year secondment of a professor with policy expertise to the role of Chief Scientific Adviser will help Essex County Council to influence national policy and to work innovatively with businesses, charitable organisations and citizens within the county.

The post signals a new era of collaboration between the University of Essex and Essex County Council, which will embed the University’s role in the economic and social development of the county. Essex is ranked in the top 20 universities in the UK for the excellence of its research, and in the top five in politics and economics research.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Jules Pretty, said: “Essex is one of the most dynamic county councils in the UK and, through unprecedented access to officers and council leaders, the Chief Scientific Adviser will cement the links between scientific analysis and public sector policy. The role will maximise the impact of our world-leading academic research in social science and data analysis in tackling challenging issues in society.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, said: “This is an exciting, ground-breaking appointment which is set to further strengthen links between the public sector, businesses, charities and the wider community. It is another great example of the county council - and Essex as a whole - being ahead of the game, and we very much look forward to the many potential benefits the new role can bring.”

The post, which is being funded by the University, will be an important anchor in the wider community. The professor will be based in the Institute for Analytics and Data Science at the University, and will contribute to the University’s research.

The University and the Council plan to extend their collaboration with a number of projects to support student and graduate opportunities, boost economic development and improve public services.

...more news releases