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Digital Technology

Question for Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

UIN 6470, tabled on 9 July 2015

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what criteria were applied in selecting the next generation digital economy centres announced in the Summer Budget 2015.

Answered on

14 July 2015

The Digital Economy Centres were funded through the Research Council UK’s (RCUK) Digital Economy (DE) research programme. This theme has already invested over £170 million in applied multidisciplinary research across the Digital Economy - from societal challenges to technological solutions.

The Next Generation DE Centres will operate over a five-year period and will draw substantially on the knowledge and successes of previous RCUK Digital Economy investments. We have funded six centres and will continue to monitor the impact of the programme as these centres become operational.

There have been no ministerial or official level discussions with the Welsh Government on this issue. The Research Councils support academic research throughout the UK. The Centre based in Swansea is partnering with the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust and South Wales Police, amongst other partners.

The DE Centres were awarded as part of a peer reviewed competition during 2014/15. All applications were considered according to the RCUK standard peer review processes with research excellence as the primary criterion. Additional secondary assessment criteria such as evidence of co-creation with end-users, and clear plans to develop the UK Digital Economy community, were also considered. The Centres were also required to demonstrate how they would train skilled researchers and innovators.

Answered by

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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