Research Councils UK 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.
Four Digital Economy Challenge Areas
In order to achieve the Digital Economy vision, our research aims to address
4 challenge areas:
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.
IT 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 DE research and provide a focus for managed
activities of the theme. The DE Theme has set up networks in each of these challenge
areas, for further details, please visit our
challenge areas page.
Understanding DE research
In order to support delivery of cross-disciplinary research aligned to our 4
challenge areas, we have worked to develop a better understanding of the types of
research that we fund, and the disciplines that underpin this across Research Council
remits. This better understanding of the DE community will:
- Inform strategies for DE research funding in each of the partner
- Inform strategies for funding research that underpins DE in
each of the partner Research Councils.
- Improve internal and external understanding of what types of
research are involved in the DE theme.
- Identify research communities to engage with the challenge theme
In order to understand DE research, we have worked with award holders, members
of the DE PAB, EPSRC, AHRC, ESRC, MRC and TSB to formulate a set of sub-themes that
describe the types of research that are involved in a DE project:
In order to address one or more of the four DE challenge areas, DE research involving
researchers working across the DE sub-themes should also engage users from various
- Creative Economy
- Health and Social Care
The interaction of the DE sub-themes with partner research councils’ remits could
be visualised as follows:
To learn more about the DE portfolio, why not read about our