October 27, 2021

UK data research infrastructure: Reviewing the existing landscape

We have today published the findings of an in-depth review of the UK’s existing data research landscape, involving workshops and interviews with over 150 researchers, technologists and others from across the country.

The first phase of the UK trusted and connected Data and Analytics Research Environments programme (DARE UK) is an extensive listening exercise to uncover what a national data research infrastructure that is joined-up, trustworthy and supports research at scale for public good should look like. As a key part of this, we commissioned an initial review of the existing data research infrastructure across the UK.

The purpose of the review – undertaken by management consultancy and analytics company Carnall Farrar during August and September 2021 – was to better understand the experiences and unmet needs of the key users of existing infrastructure. 

Six themes of unmet needs were heard from participants: 1) data and discoverability, 2) access and accreditation, 3) IT infrastructure, 4) capability and capacity, 5) maintaining trust, and 6) funding and incentives. There was widespread support for DARE UK and its ambitions, and frustration with current system efficiency. DARE UK has an opportunity to lead a coordinated effort towards a better system for research and innovation. 

The findings of the landscape review – which is only one of a series of engagement exercises over the coming year as part of DARE UK Phase 1 – will be invaluable for informing the design and delivery of a novel and innovative UK-wide data research infrastructure.

Read the full landscape review report