The UK is looking to invest £45 million in creating research centres across the country in order to further the digital research skills and abilities of UK citizens. The announcement was made by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in the Conservative government's Summer Budget.
Six centres are to be developed at Bath, Newcastle, Nottingham, Swansea, York and UCL universities, Computer Weekly reports. This has been made possible thanks to £23 million of investment and support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and £22 million of investment from a collection of other interested UK professional bodies.
The centres themselves will play host to a number of different projects, including the refinement of data for personalised products and the design of open-source technology – specifically for the development of transformational models for governmental services. The use of motion-capture technology for medical and sport performance purposes will also be examined, as will the use of data modelling to encourage regional co-operation between businesses.
On a broader level, the centres will also use digital technology to help educate the public about living in a technology-dependent world.
The main consideration behind the centres will be to improve understanding of digital technology to help drive cultural, social and economic change.
EPSRC chief executive Philip Nelson said: "These new Digital Economy Centres will show how multi-disciplinary research in the digital economy can be brought to bear on the big societal challenges we face."
Jo Johnson – the universities and science minister – commented: "This latest investment demonstrates our commitment to maximising the digital revolution for the UK."