School of Mathematics

Centre for Investing Innovation

The University of Edinburgh have formed an industry-academic partnership with the global asset manager, abrdn, to deliver innovation in the investment sector. The partnership will establish the Centre for Investing Innovation with funding of £7.5 million over five years provided by abrdn. It will be based within the University's Edinburgh Futures Institute, which is focused on addressing the critical challenges facing society.

Alan Coutts, Investment Chief Operating Officer, abrdn, will chair the Centre's Strategic Opportunities and Futures Board, with Sotirios Sabanis, Director of Knowledge Exchange at the School of Mathematics, acting as lead for the University of Edinburgh as Centre Director.

This exciting new centre will apply our leading research capabilities in data science, financial modelling, sustainability and much more. My colleagues and I look forward to starting the co-creation process with our industry partners, which will bring long-term benefits to both sides of the partnership, wider society and the economy.

Sotirios Sabanis

We are delighted that this partnership will provide the perfect opportunity to collaborate with researchers across the University to tackle the innovation challenges we identify together with the experts at abrdn. In particular, Prof John Vines, Chair of Design Informatics in the School of Informatics, will join Sotirios Sabanis as co-director and brings his expertise in interactive design for data-driven technologies and participatory approaches to design and research.

The centre will initially focus on three core priorities.

  • 'Sustainability' will ensure abrdn is at the forefront of future trends differentiating outcomes associated to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and how they continue to be embedded in the abrdn investment process. It will also explore how innovative investment practices can deliver societal benefits.
  • 'Thematic investing' aims to harness the insights of both abrdn and the University of Edinburgh to expand delivery of innovative future themes of positive return for clients.
  • 'Innovating investing' will further guide and embed technology, data science and artificial intelligence into abrdn's business to support investors to drive future client-led growth and improve efficiency.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - one of the hubs in the Data Driven Innovation programme - has supported the partnership from the start of conversations with Ksenia Grant, Financial Services & Fintech Sector Engagement Manager, leading development of the partnership working closely with Sotirios Sabanis. This has been supported by Lorraine Kerr and the rest of the Strategic Partnerships Team at Edinburgh Innovations as well as Rosie Wilkie, the BDE in the School of Mathematics.

You can read the full press release from abrdn here abrdn and Edinburgh Uni announce Centre for Investing Innovation

If you would like to be the first to know more about the progress of this partnership and how to get involved please sign up here https://edin.ac/3r6U9MH