New Chief Scientific Adviser for Essex

  • Date

    Fri 24 May 19

Alejandro Quiroz Flores

Dr Alejandro Quiroz Flores has been appointed the new Chief Scientific Adviser for Essex, tasked with helping researchers and policymakers work together to improve public services across the county.

Building on the existing strong links between the University of Essex and Essex County Council, Dr Quiroz Flores will be tasked with providing academic leadership and extending the collaboration further to see how data science and artificial intelligence can be used to help tackle a range of issues facing the county.

The role enables the University and Essex County Council to apply internationally-recognised expertise in big data and advanced analytics to inform and support Essex County Council decisions and policy development. Together Essex County Council and the University are developing new methods to analyse and interpret large amounts of available data to make evidence-led decisions that will drive the local economy and inform future planning of the county's environmental strategy, transport and infrastructure, public health and wellbeing.

“Essex County Council is forward thinking and wants to be a leader in using data science to tackle public policy challenges,” explained Dr Quiroz Flores. “My role is to support the connection between policy and science to make this happen.”

For over 50 years, our University has been the intellectual home of the world’s leading experts in data science. Our Institute for Analytics and Data Science (IADS) is a centre of excellence that connects with scholars, businesses, institutions, and authorities to work on their data needs.

Our expertise is in great demand based on the quality of its work, its interdisciplinary and holistic approach, its rigour and methodological innovation – and because the focus of its work is on real people’s lives.

Dr Quiroz Flores, who will based at IADS, joined our Department of Government in 2011 from New York University, where he was a Clinical Assistant Professor. His previous career working for the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology means his new role will bring together his expertise as a policymaker, civil servant and academic.

Gavin Jones, Chief Executive, Essex County Council, said: “Essex County Council recognises the potential value of data to improve decision making and inform public service transformation and delivery. Dr Quiroz Flores shares our ambition to embed data science within our business and build capacity and capability across public services to benefit our people and communities.

“Our ongoing partnership with the University of Essex puts us at the forefront of local authorities seeking innovative solutions to the challenges we face. Our vision for the county is to make the best use of data across the whole system, in a joined-up way, to help tackle some of our biggest challenges. For me this means not just using data to understand what has already happened and why, but using it to help us to plan, and to prevent risk.”

The University, Essex County Council and Essex Police have already been working together on the Essex Data programme – a pilot project tasked with transforming public service delivery across Essex and allowing us to tackle system-wide public policy issues through smarter use of data.