NATWEST Group and Edinburgh University have announced the launch of a new innovation centre.

The Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking is looking to improve how data is used to benefit bank customers, students, researchers and policy makers.

The new strategic partnership, supported by Edinburgh Innovations, Edinburgh University’s commercialisation service, is planned for five years, with an initial commitment of £2 million from NatWest for the first two years of activity.

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Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Group, said: “By combining the University of Edinburgh's world class research and social science expertise with NatWest's in-depth customer and business understanding, we are creating a partnership which drives innovation and ensures that our customer experience is best in class.

“This, once again, shows that through the power of partnerships, we can support the people, families and business we serve and help them thrive.”

Professor Peter Mathieson, principal of Edinburgh University, said: “Our world is faced with a variety of significant and complex challenges, from poor health to climate change and the complicated mix of challenge and opportunity associated with the emergence of artificial intelligence.

“The Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking will bring together the University’s expertise with NatWest’s in-depth data and business understanding to co-create multidisciplinary research with business applications.

"The insights generated will help us translate cutting edge research into real world solutions to benefit society.”