Knowledge Quarter launched at the British Library
The new Knowledge Quarter, a partnership of 35 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations based in King's Cross, Euston and Bloomsbury, was launched today at the British Library in London.
The members, which range from the British Museum and the University of the Arts London to the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, Wellcome Trust, The Guardian and the Aga Khan University, will work together to share their information, ideas, research and innovation. The aim of the Knowledge Quarter is to make the outstanding facilities, collections and expertise of its members understood, available and used as widely as possible for the benefit of researchers, creative people, students and the local community.
While launching London’s new Knowledge Quarter the Chancellor George Osborne announced that the headquarters of the £42 million pioneering Alan Turing Institute for Data Science will be based at Knowledge Quarter – with spurs around the country. The world-class research institute, dedicated to British computer pioneer and WW2 Enigma code-breaker Alan Turing, will work with universities across the country to focus on new ways of collecting, organising and analysing large sets of data – commonly known as big data.
Welcoming the launch of the Knowledge Quarter and announcing the Alan Turing Institute the Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Key to the government’s long-term economic plan is ensuring Britain remains at the forefront of scientific innovation.
“That’s why I was delighted to announce the creation of the Alan Turing Institute, a world-class institution dedicated to the study of data science and big data, and why I’m pleased to confirm its home alongside other world-class institutions like the Crick Institute, the Wellcome Trust, and the British Library.
“The Institute will bring benefits to the whole country through partnerships with universities and businesses across Britain, including in our great northern cities, to better understand and exploit the amazing opportunities presented by big data.
“It’s a fitting tribute to Alan Turing – the father of modern computer science and a national hero – and will ensure Britain continues to lead the whole world in this important field.”
The objectives of the Knowledge Quarter are:
- To facilitate knowledge exchange and identify opportunities to collaborate and achieve efficiencies between members;
- To identify and support local environment and infrastructure projects with Camden Council, the GLA and TfL;
- To raise awareness of the value of the Knowledge Quarter and its resources with stakeholders;
- To support the local community by improving access to its resources and collections.
Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library and Chair of the Knowledge Quarter said on the launch: “The area around King’s Cross, St Pancras, Euston and Bloomsbury is a gateway to the most valuable commodity of the 21st century – knowledge. Just as the great Victorian railway engineers built a revolutionary transport hub for people and goods in this part of London, so the Knowledge Quarter is rapidly becoming a world-class interchange for creative ideas, research and innovation.”
Deputy London Mayor for Business & Enterprise, Kit Malthouse commented: “London leads the way in supporting the UK’s knowledge economy. I am proud that within our great capital city we have leading international organisations that are coming together, through the Knowledge Quarter, to find ways that they can support growth and innovation through research.”
Mike Cooke, Chief Executive, Camden Council, commented: “People and ideas are what makes Camden such an exciting and dynamic borough. The Knowledge Quarter will enable us to build on thriving connections between our world-class institutions, local businesses and communities.”
As well as established organisations, the Knowledge Quarter includes The Francis Crick Institute, now under construction, which will be a leading global centre for medical research, and Google, which is to build its new UK headquarters in King’s Cross.
Clustered around King’s Cross, the Euston Road and Bloomsbury is an incredible range of knowledge resources and expertise, ranging from the world’s earliest books and manuscripts to the latest fashion and creative designs and cutting-edge medical research.
Together, members of the Knowledge Quarter employ over 30,000 people, turn over more than £2bn, work with 3,500 volunteers, and serve more than 8m visitors annually.
The Knowledge Quarter is governed by a Board of nine organisations: the British Library, the British Museum, Camden Council, the Wellcome Trust, Art Fund, Guardian News and Media, the Royal College of GPs, UCL and the University of the Arts. The other partner organisations make up a Steering Group that manages the Knowledge Quarter’s activities.
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The British Library in the Knowledge Quarter
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Granary Square in the Knowledge Quarter
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The steps of Regents Canal in the Knowledge Quarter
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Kings Cross Knowledge Quarter
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Knowledge Quarter logo
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George Osbourne speaking at the launch of the Knowledge Quarter
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George Osbourne launches the Knowledge Quarter at the British Library
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Roly Keating speaking at the Knowledge Quarter launch at the British Library
Notes to Editors
Membership is open to organisations within a one-mile radius of King’s Cross that are actively engaged in the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
Our partners include:
- Aga Khan University
- Art Fund
- British Library
- British Museum
- Camden Council
- Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
- CILIP (Chartered Institute of Information and Library Professionals)
- Connected Digital Economy Catapult
- Design Council
- Foundling Museum
- The Francis Crick Institute
- Guardian News & Media
- Impact Hub Kings Cross
- The Institute of Ismaili Studies
- Institute of Physics
- Kings Place
- London Canal Museum
- London Universities Purchasing Consortium
- Macmillan Science and Education
- MRC Technology
- NCUB (National Centre for Universities and Business)
- The Place
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal Veterinary College
- The School of Life
- SOAS, University of London
- Somers Town Community Association
- University College London
- University of London
- Wellcome Trust
- Westminster Kingsway College