Digital economy

The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Digital economy theme is supporting research to rapidly realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy. In order to achieve this, digital economy research aims to address four challenge areas:

  • Sustainable society: In sustainable societies of the future, people will be able to make informed choices. Improved delivery of information and services will foster changes in behaviour to minimise the negative impact of our activities.
  • Communities and culture: Communities, participation and culture are changing in the digital age. It is important that we ensure digital interaction enhances, not replaces face to face interactions.
  • New economic models: In an increasingly global economy, as new companies and individuals use digital technologies to innovate, the market can change rapidly. New business models are being created to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities in the digital world.
  • Information technology as a utility: Digital infrastructure should be so simple, accessible and reliable that it seems invisible. In delivering this, questions need to be answered about whether people will trust it, how to ensure privacy is respected and how to pay for it.

These challenges are at the heart of digital economy research and provide a focus for managed activities of the theme.

The types of research that the Digital economy theme supports in order to address these four challenge areas is described by the 11 digital economy sub-themes below. Digital economy research involves researchers working across these areas and engages users from various domains: Creative economy; Energy; Health and social care, Transport, Services, Government.

More information can be found on the RCUK Digital Economy website.

View an A-Z list of all research areas within the EPSRC portfolio, or all research areas within this theme.