Health Data Research UK funding to inform design of UK digital research environments

Health Data Research UK, UK Research and Innovation, and Administrative Data Research UK have launched a £2 million fund to explore, develop and progress a UK-wide digital research infrastructure – focusing on the design to connect sensitive data from across research councils.

The programme aims to attracts 10 ‘Sprint Exemplar Projects’ that will inform its DARE UK programme on developing a ‘Trusted and Connected Data and Analytics Research Environment’.

DARE UK launched in July to consult on the requirements for a federated, digital infrastructure for sensitive data research. It aims to explore approaches for Trusted Research Environments with an aim to ensure efficient sharing, linkage and advanced analysis of data in an ethical and secure manner.

The call is looking for technology that can help improve data discovery, improve metadata management or support application programming interfaces, such as for the development of federated analytics, data visualisation or automation. It’s also seeking support for the development of privacy enhancing technology, in line with its outline on trusted research environment processes.

Establishing best practice is a key element of the programme, aiming to develop information governance and ethics, standards, training and career development and public involvement.

The closing date for applications is 11 November 2021, with projects to run from January 2022 to August 2022.

In other recent news reported by HTN, Health Data Research UK published an annual review on data insights during the pandemic, entitled ‘Data Insights in a Pandemic’. The report explains the organisation’s strategy, approach, and its projects and highlights across the year, as well as platforming case studies from the past 12 months.

HTN also recently reported on North East and North Cumbria ICS’s ‘Trusted Research and Evaluation Environment strategy’ that aims to support joint collaboration between health, care and academic institutions, using governed processes and a data platform.

The ICS said the strategy is to provide the capability and data platform to ‘support evidence based transformation’, across the region. The ICS noted its four strategic outcomes in the paper; to develop public and partner trust and assurance on use of data; cultivate health, care and academic expertise; deliver projects that are focussed on improving population health and wellbeing; and to provide a nationally assured, safe, scalable and sustainable capability to support the regions digital development and economic growth.