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Mapping of the UK knowledge and research landscape

As part of a wider project to build a comprehensive picture of the research and innovation landscape, the Research Councils are working with key organisations to identify a wide range of datasets and how they can be better exploited to help maintain and develop the UK’s excellence in research and innovation.

The High-Level Landscape Mapping Group, made up of representatives from the Research Councils, Innovate UK, HEFCE, and others, published a report in February 2016 as a first step in refining and bringing together datasets that can be used and exploited further to inform strategic decision-making and enable funders to identify how future funding could be targeted to achieve the best value for money. In order to exploit areas where the UK could have increased global comparative advantage, we need to improve the UK’s capability to identify where existing and emerging research excellence can be coupled with innovation strength.

The UK Knowledge and Research Landscape: A report on available resources

The report provides a short guide to the main existing datasets and how they could be developed in the future, along with the challenges in using them. By bringing these datasets together, funders and other users will be able to provide robust evidence to support the case for appropriately-resourced research and innovation in the UK.

Next steps

The report sets out the next stage in this collaboration, including the development of a five-year plan with the following initial practical objectives:

  • Establishing a single portal providing access to existing datasets, and providing potential users information to help direct them to the most relevant data
  • Encouraging the use of tools like ORCID, which facilitate linking individual researchers to their outputs without manual input of information
  • Making clear the limitations of existing datasets and giving users guidelines on what can and can’t be done with the data
  • Sharing best practice to improve user interfaces to databases. The aim is to facilitate extraction and visualisation of information including the use of maps, cartograms and infographics.

Further information

The High-Level Landscape Mapping Group are keen to gain feedback on the utility of the report we and more broadly the vision of the Group in bringing datasets together to present a comprehensive picture of the research and innovation landscape. Questions from the group include:

  •  Are their key sources of data on research and innovation in the UK that missing from the report?
  • Do you find the report useful and if so which aspects of the report are particularly useful?
  • Are there errors in the report, or aspects which are either misleading or need further clarification?
  • Are you aware of any data sets or other sources of information related to direct UK government departmental R&D or  innovation requirements and spend?
  • A key objective of the High Level Landscape Mapping Group is to build a comprehensive and reliable picture of the whole R&D landscape in the UK.  How would you use this data?

Feedback and comments can be sent to researchlandscape@rcuk.ac.uk


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