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 priority areas:

  • Trust, identity, privacy and security:
    Research into design and exploitation of trusted digital systems, security of information, digital devices and the maintenance of privacy of digital transactions and digital information. Research includes disruptive approaches to legal/policy issues, useable security, provenance, identity and end-user adoption. A key element around personal data is the protection of the interests of the individual, and building confidence that digital economy services will use personal information responsibly while enabling new commercial and societal opportunities for innovation.Activities include a call for proposals in the area.
  • Digital business models:
    Research is required to consider both the impacts of digital technologies on businesses and the opportunities that digital technologies provide in developing new forms of businesses and services. Distributed ledgers are a good example of a potential transformational use of a digital technology, for example in smart contracts, the music industry and the internet of things. Examples of activities in this area include a call for proposals in Applications of Distributed Ledger Technologies and projects in the area of New Economic Business Models.
  • The internet of things for a service economy:
    Developing the internet of things in human-centred, safe and reliable ways, to transform infrastructure, products and services and underpin all aspects of society, including cities, transport, manufacturing, health and defence. Activities include the PETRAS research hub.
  • Content creation and consumption:
    Research into how digital technologies enable the creation, co-creation and exchange of content for social, cultural or business purposes (including user-generated material). Also includes research into tools, processes and platforms relevant to content distribution. Activities include a call for proposals in the area.

These priorities are at the heart of digital economy research.

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.