Why was DARE UK established?
Data has been fundamental to the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the UK moves out of the critical phase and into recovery, there is a need to ensure the investments being made in data research infrastructure are joined-up and, crucially, that they demonstrate trustworthiness.
UKRI – a non-departmental public body and the UK’s largest public funder of research and innovation – is investing £17 million in the UK’s digital research infrastructure to fund a portfolio of initiatives to develop existing digital activities, or in target areas for closer cooperation across the UKRI research councils. One such initiative is the DARE UK programme.
What does DARE UK aim to achieve?
DARE UK aims to:
- Design and deliver a novel and innovative UK-wide data research infrastructure that is joined-up, demonstrates trustworthiness and supports research at scale for public good.
- Establish the next generation of trusted research environments (TREs) that will enable fast, safe and efficient sharing, linkage and advanced analysis of data, where it is legal and ethical to do so.
- Enable UK researchers and innovators to securely and efficiently harness the full power of linked datasets, modern digital platforms, tools, techniques and skills.
- Enable research and analysis on a broad range of potentially sensitive data from across the UK research and innovation spectrum.
The scope of DARE UK includes all research conducted by UKRI research councils that uses, or anticipates use of, sensitive data from different research disciplines and from across different sectors. The DARE UK programme is being designed in an open and inclusive manner, with involvement from researchers, technologists and the public embedded throughout.
Public trust at the heart
We are committed to meaningful public involvement and engagement. Public involvement and engagement will be embedded throughout the DARE UK programme to inform our planning and delivery and make sure we are working in a trustworthy way.
Phase 1: Design and Dialogue (~13 months, July 2021 – August 2022)
Phase 2: Build, Test and Establish (~12 months, September 2022 – August 2023)
Phase 3: Deliver, Optimise and Federate (~35 months, September 2023 – June 2026)
DARE UK Phase 1
Phase 1 of the DARE UK programme is an extensive listening exercise.
Fundamental to the DARE UK programme is ensuring that research is conducted for the public good in a way that is secure, trustworthy and protects sensitive information about individuals. This will be achieved through an inclusive and transparent design approach undertaken in close collaboration with researchers, technologists, the public and others during Phase 1. It involves public representatives from the outset, and engagement with a range of stakeholders to gather detailed requirements from across different disciplines and sectors.
A competition for Sprint Exemplar Projects will uncover and test early thinking around use cases and the governance, ethics and technical feasibility required to deliver a UK-wide data and analytics research infrastructure. This will enable the development of a plan and input to the design for data research infrastructure across the UK.
Meanwhile, a series of workshops with researchers, technologists and the public will explore views regarding what a coordinated national data research infrastructure should look like.
The findings of DARE UK Phase 1 will inform and shape the future of the programme, with the delivery partners for subsequent phases determined through an open and transparent process. The three main stages of Phase 1 are:
- Listen and learn (August – December 2021)
- Test and evolve (January – April 2022)
- Agree and plan (May – August 2022)