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Pilot projects will aid better and safer use of data in research

Four pilot projects are referenced by the Chancellor in the 2024 Budget.

People studying a chart on a tablet in a meeting.

Credit: Dean Mitchell, E+, via Getty Images

Four pilot projects, referenced by the Chancellor in the 2024 Budget, will test ways to collaborate and share data to solve important problems in society, energy, transport and more.

The pilots will provide valuable evidence on what more needs to be done to:

  • optimise the research data ecosystem in the UK
  • ensure researchers have secure access to the highest quality data
  • cement the UK’s status as a world-leading research hub

They are supported by a total of £5 million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Digital Research Infrastructure programme, as announced in the National Science and Technology Framework in March 2023.

The projects

The FAIR Data Accelerator pilot

This pilot seeks to develop and deliver ways to help all research communities make data more findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (the FAIR principles).

The project, to be delivered by UK SKA Regional Centre and University College, London (UCL), will use social science approaches to make the social and cultural challenges and barriers to data sharing, which are currently hidden, visible.

It will also pilot a FAIR Data Accelerator that can help make data sharing easier for researchers.

The Environmental Data Service pilot

Led by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), this project will work with partners to pilot a range of measures to address issues of data findability, traceability, accessibility and interoperability, to improve data sharing and access across disciplines.

The Data Infrastructure for National Infrastructure pilot

The Data Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) will run this project in collaboration with teams in the Energy Data Centre (EDC) and the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA).

They will focus on ways to improve sharing and analysis of data across national energy, water and transport infrastructures, and the related natural, built, social and economic environment.

The Sensitive Data Research Passport and Registry pilot

In this pilot, Heath Data Research UK (HDR-UK) will look at ways to improve how researchers access the sensitive data they need for research and innovation.

It aims to help streamline processes and accelerate the assessment of the safety of researchers, while ensuring that legal responsibilities are met and sensitive data is kept confidential.


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