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Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute

The Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence for Digital Economy research centred at the University of Nottingham.

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Horizon explores how challenges, such as trust regarding the use of personal data, can be addressed in the development of new technologies and products that blend physical and digital elements, for example: community casting of virtual music festivals, personalised digital mental health interventions, and data-driven consumer goods.

Dr Lachlan Urquhart, Lecturer in Technology Law at Edinburgh Law School, is a founding academic partner of the Horizon Institute, along with colleagues at Glasgow, Cambridge, East Anglia, Newcastle and De Montfort. As part of a £4.1 million grant from UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Digital Economy Theme, he will work closely with Horizon’s Cross-Cutting Programme to provide new cross-sectorial insights that can be applied to emerging issues more widely across the Digital Economy.

Building on his previous Horizon projects, including Defence Against the Dark Artefacts, Cardographer, Memory Machine and Moral-IT cards, Dr Urquhart will undertake new projects and activities that focus on legal and design aspects of building trustworthy data driven products.

Based at the University of Nottingham, the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute brings together an interdisciplinary team with expertise from a wide variety of backgrounds including computer science, engineering, mathematics, psychology, sociology, business, social science and the arts. This team is addressing the research challenge of how to promote deep personalisation, whilst providing control and privacy to citizens, even as we develop new blended experiences that converge traditional and digital artefacts, services and media. 

Established in 2009, Horizon represents a substantial ongoing investment by UKRI, the University of Nottingham and over 200 academic and industrial partners. Horizon consists of both a Research Hub and a  Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) within the UKRI  Digital Economy programme. Both the Hub and CDT have received three rounds of direct funding, which alongside engagement in major national programmes such as the PETRAS  National Centre of Excellence for IoT systems cybersecurity and the TAS Hub , provide funding through until 2025. 

Visit the Horizon website

MeMa 2.0

MeMa aims to contextualise personal memories (pictures, videos, music, 3D content) into timelines to create personalised digital souvenirs, digital repositories for the end-of-life, engaging tools for personal reflection, history education, reminiscence interventions for dementia care, and tools for accessing cultural heritage. MeMa, as a digital platform, provides the tools to allow creation and curation of memories that enable meaningful artefacts to be brought to life with rich emotional value.

View project website

Responsible Research and Innovation for trusted products

Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), includes anticipating and responding to potential future uses of new technologies, and is emerging as a powerful science policy discourse. However, it is still a vague concept for many ICT researchers and practitioners. This project will explore current RRI practices among the ICT community, addressing barriers and facilities for RRI implementation and will develop and validate online/offline card-based approaches to RRI, promoting an RRI culture within and beyond Horizon.

View project website