About us

A word from Professor Derek McAuley – Co-Director of Horizon Digital Economy

Welcome to Horizon Digital Economy Research, which consists of both a Research Hub and a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) within the RCUK Digital Economy programme. Established in 2009, this venture represents an initial £40 million investment by Research Councils UK (RCUK), The University of Nottingham and over 100 academic and industrial partners. Both the Hub and CDT have received further follow-on funding in recognition of the impact Horizon has already had on our daily lives.

Building on the Digital Britain plan, Horizon research has focused on the role of ‘always on, always with you’ ubiquitous computing technology. Our aim has been to investigate the technical developments needed if electronic information is to be controlled, managed and harnessed — for example, to develop new products and services for societal benefit.

Horizon addresses a growing public concern over the exploitation of personal data. We will now deliver a transformation from the dominant focus on analysing centralised ‘big data’ to explore the private and ethical interpretation of ‘human data’ collected by our personal devices including mobile phones and wearable devices like the Apple Watch or Fitbit. Building privacy and trust into the next generation of digital experiences and products is essential to ensure public acceptance, and hence the continued economic and social benefits of upcoming technology innovations.