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London’s Knowledge Quarter launches, with FutureLearn at its centre

FutureLearn is part of London’s new Knowledge Quarter, which was officially launched by George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, yesterday. Here, we discuss what it means to us.

A statue outside the British Library - FutureLearn's home at the heart of London's new Knowledge Quarter

Here at FutureLearn, we spend much of our time thinking about our online community of learners, so it’s nice for us to take a moment to celebrate our local community in London, and the neighbour institutions who share our mission to connect people to ideas.

The launch of the Knowledge Quarter

Yesterday, we were thrilled to see the official launch of the new Knowledge Quarter, a partnership of 35 academic, cultural, scientific and media organisations based in King’s Cross, and Bloomsbury.

FutureLearn is in great company in the Knowledge Quarter; the range of members includes The British Museum, University College London, Guardian News and Media, The Francis Crick Institute – opening soon as a leading global centre for medical research – and the UK headquarters of Google, which will also move to King’s Cross. All of us will work together to share information, ideas, research and innovation.

The aim of the Knowledge Quarter is to make the outstanding facilities, collections and expertise of its members understood, available and used as widely as possible for the benefit of researchers, creative people, students and the local community.

UK government backing

This fantastic initiative has been led by the British Library, where FutureLearn has its base, and has won support in the UK government for the immense contribution that this network of organisations makes to the UK’s knowledge economy.

George Osbourne speaking at the British Library, to launch the Knowledge Quarter

George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, unveiled the Knowledge Quarter at an event at the British Library, and took the opportunity to announce plans for a £42 million research institute to be headquartered here. The brand new Alan Turing Institute for Data Science – dedicated to the British computer pioneer and WW2 Enigma code-breaker – will work with universities across the country to focus on new ways of collecting, organising and analysing big data.

“Key to the government’s long-term economic plan is ensuring Britain remains at the forefront of scientific innovation,” explained Mr Osborne.  “I’m pleased to confirm its home alongside other world-class institutions like the Crick Institute, the Wellcome Trust, and the British Library.”

The Knowledge Quarter promises to be a vibrant place for FutureLearn and our neighbours to exchange ideas and stimulate even more innovative thinking. Just as we aim to connect people to the world’s best courses, as a company we welcome this opportunity for openness and collaboration in this new hub of knowledge and creativity.

To find out more about the organisation, its aims and those involved, visit the Knowledge Quarter’s website.

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