HPE Gives $10M to UH for Joint Data Science Research Projects

The University of Houston and Hewlett Packard Enterprise on Friday announced a collaboration designed to enable advances in data science.

The announcement includes a $10 million donation from the computing company to the university’s year-old Data Science Institute, which has been renamed to the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute. The donation will be used to fund joint projects related to machine learning, data modeling, and other data science fields.

UH and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (NYSE: HPE) have long worked together in an ad hoc fashion, such as supporting the company’s efforts to hire UH graduates or utilizing university research to tackle business issues of importance to the company. For example, UH says students sometimes work on research areas suggested by HPE, part of an effort to ensure students and faculty are focused on real-world problems.

The new partnership at the data science center “will institutionalize” all of those activities, says Amr Elnashai, UH’s vice president for research and technology transfer.

“UH will become a major contributor to workforce development in data sciences in Houston,” he says.

That goal dovetails, he adds, with the city’s overall mission to improve its innovation ecosystem. One of the aims of Houston Exponential, a civic group formed last year to boost the city’s anemic startup scene, is to build up Houston’s high-tech workforce.

“There is a dearth of data science workforce needed to be sufficiently attractive for companies to relocate here,” Elnashai says.

Angela Shah is the editor of Xconomy Texas. She can be reached at ashah@xconomy.com or (214) 793-5763. Follow @angelashah

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