UH Data Science Institute gets $10 million

The University of Houston announced a new collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, including a $10 million gift from HPE to the university. The gift will benefit the Data Science Institute and include funding for a scholarship endowment, as well as both funding and equipment to enhance data science research activities.

In today’s information age, the data being created is only as valuable as the insights that are gleaned from it. The secrets to scientific breakthroughs and industry-changing innovations hide in plain sight behind mountains of data. Data science is the key to unlocking these breakthroughs and critical as companies undergo digital transformation.

Amr Elnashai, vice president for research and technology transfer at UH, said the alliance with HPE will expand the ability to respond to some of the biggest challenges facing the region.

“This partnership will enhance our capacity to deploy data science tools to address challenges in the healthcare, energy and smart materials sectors in the Houston area, from health data mining to data-enabled oil and gas exploration,” he said.

HPE’s collaboration with the university is part of a larger movement that’s focused on accelerating the development of Houston’s innovation economy, led by organizations like Houston Exponential.

Gina Luna, chair of Houston Exponential, said enhancing Houston’s position as a leader in data sciences is an important piece of that plan.

“HPE’s commitment to this program at UH is exciting for Houston,” she said. “As our core industries digitize, leveraging the power of data is critical to that transformation, and collaborations between industry and academia are a key component. This partnership, along with many others, is essential to accelerating our progress as a global leader in this area.”

The collaboration will go beyond funding, with HPE leaders serving as lecturers for UH classes and UH researchers helping to solve complex problems for HPE customers. Students will work on research areas suggested by HPE.

UH offers a number of certificate and degree programsin data analytics, statistics and related fields, and researchers from a variety of disciplines use data science in work ranging from health care diagnostics and imaging to improving the safety of offshore drilling.

Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, said the gift will benefit students in a number of ways.

“Data science is profoundly changing society,” she said. “The enhanced educational opportunities available to UH students through this gift will translate to increased student engagement and a better prepared workforce.”

The UH Data Science Institutewill be renamed the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI) in recognition of the alliance.