Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. News
  3. Blogs
  4. DataFest18: OU courses, research and projects

DataFest18: OU courses, research and projects

Simona FoscarinAuthor:

Dr Simona Foscarin is a Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise Manager at The OU. 

She directs OU initiatives for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Higher Education Innovation Fund and the Knowledge Transfer Partnership programme.

Simona Foscarin

What does The Open University do? Who are our academics and what are they excited about?
How does data inform our research, projects and courses, and why would you want to engage with us? 
Last month The OU participated in, and sponsored DataFest18.
DataFest 2018
This festival of data innovation run by The Data Lab was an excellent opportunity to showcase what we are about and how we can collaborate with businesses on research projects, help employers upskill their workforces, and the range of study opportunities we offer.
Over three days of intense networking at Data Talent Scotland in Glasgow and Data Summit in Edinburgh colleagues and I shared the breadth of our activities with potential students and delegates. 

OU highlights at DataFest18 included:

1) Our courses


2) The OU’s Institute of Educational TechnologySian Joel-Edgar

Our Institute of Educational Technology uses our free online learning site OpenLearn to enhance distance-learning education, and designs new ways of teaching: you can study with us, or work with us.

3) Spreadsheet model

A model to make spreadsheets more user-friendly: you can use and co-develop it with us!

4) The Urban Data School

The Urban Data School increased data literacy in cities within The OU’s MK:Smart project: we are working from its legacy into new exciting projects of which you can be part.

5) Our academics

Our academics, eager to develop innovative research, and tap into research and development funding in collaboration with other organisations.
(Sian Joel-Edgar, OU Staff Tutor in Computing and Communications, is pictured right.)
In a nutshell, we offer flexible distance learning, continuous professional education, and research in IT, design, computing, AI, machine learning, and much more. 
We do all this to be true to our mission to “be open to people, places, methods and ideas”, and to contribute to Scottish society, as well as to partners, collaborators, and students throughout the world.
Such a success was our involvement at DataFest18, that we are already looking forward to the next one.

To get in touch with us to find out more, or to discuss potential collaborations, please contact: for OU in Scotland knowledge exchange activities for employer-led partnerships and professional development for public engagement and student opportunities for research collaborations with The OU 


Photo of a woman with a laptop

New report finds SME leaders lack digital tech skills

A new report has revealed that 77% of leaders of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK do not have the skills required to successfully implement new technology into their businesses.

3rd June 2021
Woman with laptop. Photo by Surface.

Pandemic sees growth in OU study sign-up

The Open University in Scotland has seen a rise in its student numbers by a fifth over the past year, as the pandemic means more people are choosing OU online study. 

25th May 2021
See all

Media contacts

Out-of-hours media enquiries:
07901 515 891

OU in Scotland media enquiries: 
Call 07879 868 917

Jane Ferguson
Assistant Director (Communications, Public Affairs and Policy)

General (UK-wide) OU media enquiries:
Contact the Press Office
Call 01908 654316

Open University News

For up-to-date news from the wider OU,
visit our news site