Digital Futures 2012, taking place 23-25 October at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, is the third annual UK-wide Digital Economy All Hands Conference, focusing on transforming the lives of people, communities and businesses through the design and deployment of innovative information and communication technologies.
Keynote presentations will focus on technology for the developing world from Edward Cutrell of Microsoft India, digital technologies and how we generate, consume and think about energy with Alex Rogers of the University of Southampton, and the theme of developing analytics for a smarter planet with Dakshi Agrawal of IBM.
Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, will speak about the Connected Digital Economy Catapult due to open next year. The Catapult will be a world-leading centre of technology and innovation designed to accelerate innovation and stimulate growth in this important area of the economy.
Digital Futures 2012 will provide a multi-disciplinary environment for sharing ideas about how digital advances can make an impact on society across a range of sectors including transport, healthcare, financial services, and the creative industries.
The three-day event will feature keynote presentations, formal paper sessions including presentations from postgraduate research students, and technology demonstrations. For the first time there will also be a dedicated exhibition space, showcasing the work of the Digital Economy community.
Academic researchers and industry experts from major global providers will cover a wide and varied programme, with topics including how older people use web information, how charities use social media for marketing, new technology to video-monitor changes in our natural environment, the new culture of enjoying music online and how ‘recommender’ systems work, and the emergent role of social media in dealing with death and mourning.
On the health front, the issues around privacy and electronic patient records, and views from patients about the acceptability of digital technology for cancer after-care are just two of the topics in the programme.
Sessions will also include an update on TRUMP (Trusted Mobile Platform for the Self-Management of Chronic Illness in Rural Areas) which is a three-year collaboration between researchers at Aberdeen and other UK universities working with counterparts in India to explore the potential of using second-generation mobile devices to help people living in remote and rural areas to manage their own long-term chronic health conditions.
Digital Economy research is funded and coordinated by Research Councils UK (RCUK), the umbrella body of the UK's seven government-funded Research Councils. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing RCUK works closely with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education Funding Councils, business, government, and charitable organisations. Research is focused on three national research hubs (see Notes below).
Professor Peter Edwards, director of the dot.rural research hub at the University of Aberdeen, and chair of the organising committee for Digital Futures 2012 said: “We are really excited to be hosting this year's Digital Economy All Hands conference. This year's event has a particular focus on Disruptive Innovation and the presentations will explore the different ways in which the Digital Economy is transforming society and the economy.”
Notes to Editors
See www.de2012.org/ for full programme and other details.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via research Councils UK. www.epsrc.ac.uk
The three UK Digital Economy research hubs
- The dot.rural research hub at the University of Aberdeen focuses on the opportunities of advances in digital technology for remote and rural communities across the UK. Dot.rural was launched in 2010 with £11.8 million of funding from the EPSRC to conduct research and development into digital technologies to enhance how crucial services such as healthcare and transport are delivered in rural areas across the UK. dot.rural also investigates how new digital technologies can benefit rural economies and communities by promoting new forms of enterprise in areas such as tourism and nature conservation. dot.rural research has particular relevance to Scotland, including digital tools to support hard-pressed rural enterprises, next-generation satellite broadband, potential uses of the emerging technology of ‘natural language generation’, and how rural communities can be helped by flexible, integrated transport services. www.dotrural.ac.uk
- SiDE (Social inclusion through the Digital Economy) is the RCUK Digital Economy programme at Newcastle University. Poor health, disability, family breakdown, poverty and unemployment are just some of the reasons why people of all ages may become marginalised from society. SiDE aims to tackle social exclusion by making it easier for people to access the life-changing benefits offered by digital technologies. Research is focusing on four activities where digital technologies can deliver major social benefits: Connected Home & Community, Accessibility, Inclusive Transport, and the Creative Industries. An interdisciplinary approach is essential for the work to have a real impact, and so these activities are being investigated from the research perspectives of technology, society, business and the user. www.side.ac.uk
- Horizon is the research institute at the University of Nottingham engaged in Digital Economy Research. Established in 2009, this venture represents an initial £40 million investment by Research Councils UK (RCUK), Academic teams at the universities of Nottingham. Cambridge, Reading, Brunel and Exeter work together with many industrial partners in both a Research Hub and Doctoral Training Centre within the RCUK Digital Economy programme. Building on the Digital Britain plan, Horizon research focuses on the role of ‘always on, always with you’ ubiquitous computing technology. Our aim is 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. www.horizon.ac.uk/
Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.
Issued on: 23 October 2012
Contact: Shaunagh Kirby