Through the City Region Deal, the University of Edinburgh is strengthening its capability in data-driven research and innovation with a number of significant investments including the new Bayes Centre. The aim is to establish Edinburgh and the surrounding region as the Data Capital of Europe.
At the Bayes Centre, world-leading data science and artificial intelligence teams are shaping a better future for everyone. Working with partners, the Centre is a proving ground where data-driven innovation can work to solve real-world problems through scientific enquiry, inspiring design and industrial collaboration.
The Bayes Centre needed a brand identity and a strategic marketing and communications plan ahead of its official opening. Robertson Collaborate has substantial experience in delivering similar projects and working with academic and government-funded organisations, start-up and scale-up businesses and not-for-profit organisations in the data science and tech entrepreneurial eco-system. Recognising this, the University engaged Robertson Collaborate to develop the Bayes Centre strategic marketing and communications plan and, in partnership with Hookson, its brand identity. Jane Richardson, a strategic communications advisor was part of the Robertson Collaborate team. The project was extended to include media training and the delivery of the website and case studies to showcase the work being done at the centre.
The process involved internal and external stakeholder engagement. Robertson Collaborate carried out external interviews to understand the current perceptions around the Bayes Centre – both positive and negative – and to identify potential opportunities and challenges from a variety of perspectives. Internal staff were involved, helping to shape the strategy and develop a sense of shared and individual ownership of priorities. The feedback informed the development of the brand identity and marketing and communications strategy.
The communications plan was to build the Bayes Centre reputation over three key phases, closely aligned with communications milestones for Edinburgh City Deal activity and the wider context for the University as a data innovation hub. Media training tested the key messages in a collaborative group exercise, helping to equip the Bayes Centre representatives with agreed ‘elevator’ messaging, as well as answers to challenging questions.
The project also involved managing the website requirements and the process to appoint a website development partner, along with content creation. This included an initial bank of case studies to use within communications to show real-world applications of AI and data science that are solving problems and offering tangible benefits for business and society.
The team and stakeholders were fully engaged with the Bayes Centre proposition ahead of the successful launch. Now regarded as a hub of data science excellence and innovation, the Centre is continuing to build its international reputation.