The Alan Turing Institute and Royal Statistical Society will partner with the Department of Health and Social Care’s Joint Biosecurity Centre to provide further independent statistical modelling and machine learning expertise to support the government’s response to COVID-19.
The partnership will bolster existing capabilities within the JBC, which has been a key arm in the UK’s fight against COVID-19, working with Public Health England colleagues to support the NHS Test and Trace programme in breaking chains of COVID-19 transmission.
The Alan Turing Institute and RSS will provide independent insight and analysis of NHS Test and Trace data by setting up a new Statistical Modelling and Machine Learning Laboratory to grant the JBC deeper understanding of how the virus is spreading across the country and the epidemiological consequences. Statistical modelling helps data scientists to predict what the virus might do next, based on what is understood about it already.
This extra support for statistical modelling will be brought together with the data science and public health expertise of the JBC to support COVID-19 decision-making at local and national levels.
Professor Sylvia Richardson, RSS President-Elect, Co-chair of the RSS Covid-19 Task Force, and Director of the MRC Biostatistics Unit said:
“We are pleased to partner with The Alan Turing Institute to offer our statistical expertise to the Joint Biosecurity Centre in its efforts to provide the most up-to-date analysis of the pandemic. Statistical modelling has a key role to play in giving us an insight into the spread of the virus, so we as statisticians can assist decision-makers with the policy decisions that affect us all.
“The Royal Statistical Society, along with The Alan Turing Institute, will be able to work transparently and independently in providing the research that is needed at both local and national level.”