EMPLOYERS are being urged to harness the power of data and artificial intelligence (AI) across Scotland’s industries in a drive by the Data Lab.

It is placing full-time data MSc students on three-month paid industrial placements in various sectors, as part of its MSc programme.

More than 150 students taking an MSc in a data science-related field across 11 Scottish universities can take part in the placements.

Since the programme launched four years ago, 416 students have been sponsored by the Data Lab, with 133 completing placements at more than 76 organisations, over the private, public and third sectors.

Nearly 100 students will be starting placements this summer before graduating from their MSc course.

As part of the drive, six companies are taking part at this year’s Innovation Week, in a three-day residential trip

which allows organisations to challenge data experts to design data-driven solutions to challenges facing them.

Students and challenge owners work together in a problem-solving based environment to apply data science to real business challenges.

This year’s challenges include how to accelerate energy transition in Europe’s power market, addressing litter prevention in a popular tourist destination and reducing the stress on our water systems.

Gillian Docherty, the Data Lab’s CEO said: “Innovation Week gives businesses the opportunity to understand how to begin looking at data as a tool to help solve challenges and gain more insight into their organisations.

“We’ve already seen some of the ideas coming out of the workshops from previous years being worked into long-term business strategies.

“From the students’ perspective, the MSc placement and Innovation Week act as direct links into employment, and the activities organised throughout the year teach them how to apply academic theory into a real business environment.

“Many of those who have undertaken the three-month placement, have since been employed full-time by the organisation they were placed in – demonstrating the real value employers see in having a data expert within their organisations.”