Following a £17 million investment by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the new UK data service will be launched on 1 October 2012. It will integrate the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Census Programme, the Secure Data Service and other elements of the data service infrastructure currently provided by the ESRC, including the UK Data Archive.
ESRC’s Chief Executive, Professor Paul Boyle announced “The UK Data Service represents a significant step forward in our strategy… As data are the lifeblood of research, our aim is to consolidate resources in a way that expands both the reach and impact of these vital investments. It will become a cornerstone for UK research; the place to go for high quality data and support.”
The UK data service will be distributed following the initiatives of members of University of Essex, University of Manchester, University of Southampton and University of Leeds, while being led by Dr Matthey Woollard (from University of Essex)
The ESRC is also establishing Research Support Units with the different regions across the UK, with University College London tasked with the England and Wales unit, University of St. Andrews with the Scotland unit, and Queen’s University of Belfast with the Northern Ireland unit.