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Digital Economy Fellowships

Digital Economy Programme logoAs part of the EPSRC’s on-going Fellowship framework/opportunities the RCUK Digital Economy (DE) theme are looking to support fellows whose research is within the following priority areas:

Early career priority areas:

  • Social computing
  • Business and economic models
  • Advancing the internet of things for DE
  • Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS) - recently introduced from 1st April 2015

Established career priority areas:

  • Advancing the internet of things for DE
  • Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS) – recently introduced from 1st April 2015

Please visit the EPSRC website for further detail on each of the priority areas.

Contact digitaleconomy@epsrc.ac.uk for more information.

Digital Economy’s Currently Funded Fellows

Funded from October 2014:

Professor Desmond Higham (Strathclyde) - Established Career

Data Analytics for Future Cities - Internet of Things priority

 This proposal will add to the "cleverness" that is needed to exploit fully the data deluge. Technology evolves rapidly. The look, feel and functionality of smartphones, tablets, notebooks and desktop PCs have changed dramatically in recent years, and there is a range of new technologies such as wearable devices, smart glasses and implantable sensors. Many of these will add to the technological revolution, before themselves being superseded. However, the challenge of analysing and exploiting the vast realms of data produced by the Internet of Things is universal, and the mathematical concepts and resulting algorithms that underpin these new technologies are fundamental and have very long-term value.

My proposal will develop new analytical concepts that lead to computational algorithms. The results will be aimed directly at the application of Future Cities research---improving the social, environmental and economic aspects of city living. The University of Strathclyde is home to a City Observatory that collects a huge amount of data from the city of Glasgow, including air quality sensors, traffic information, energy usage and measurements of many aspects of human behaviour, such as on-line activity, social media interactions, CCTV data and retail footfall counts.  Indeed, Glasgow received £24M of government funding to become the UK's pilot city for this type of digitally-driven enhancement.  

 Some illustrative applications that the research will address are:

  • Characterising the social media traits of different user bases, such as drivers/cyclists/pedestrians, to predict the best way to target messages at each group
  • Stratifying the population of city users according to their portfolio of work/leisure/shopping community memberships in order to maximise the usage of energy/space resources in the city
  • Predicting crowd levels and crowd behaviour at forthcoming public events
  • Monitoring the public perception of an ongoing campaign, such as a cycle-to-work-scheme
  • Monitoring and reacting in real time to the public response in relation to a planned disruption, such as a political march, or an unpredictable event, such as a traffic incident.

Funded from October 2014:

Dr Andrew Crabtree (Nottingham) -  Established career

Privacy-by-Design: Building Accountability into the Internet of Things  - Internet of Things priority

 There is a need to understand what needs to be done to make the IoT accountable to users so that they can understand what data is being gathered, what is being done with it, and by whom, and to enable personal data management.

The need for accountability leads to a concern with 'articulation work' - i.e., making personal data transactions visible and available to user control. This fellowship seeks to engage industry and end-users in the co-design of awareness and control mechanisms that specify requirements for the support of articulation work. It seeks to do so in the context of the home - one of the most personal of settings in society and a key site for future personal data harvesting. Industry is engaged in the development of use cases specifying future IoT applications that exploit personal data across different infrastructures penetrating the home. The use cases are grounded in ethnographic studies of current interfaces to infrastructure and the personal data transaction models that accompany them. Current and future understandings are combined in 'provotypes' - provocative mock ups of new technological arrangements - which are subject to end-user evaluation to shape and refine articulation mechanisms around user need and which foster user trust in the IoT.


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