On 27 October 2020, the Government announced a £29 million investment into a new online safety centre of excellence and six new research projects across the UK.
The new investment package includes:
- £29m for research projects in Bristol, Bath, Newcastle, Nottingham, Surrey and Lancaster, which focus on online safety and privacy
- Includes £7m for a new online safety research centre of excellence
- New technology trials to boost online privacy, tackle disinformation and increase wellbeing
The package includes £7 million from UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund for a new National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence online (REPHRAIN) bringing together researchers from the universities of Bristol, Edinburgh, Bath, King’s College London and UCL.
REPHRAIN will also work with industry, academics and the voluntary sector to develop new technologies to help human moderators tackle the spread of online disinformation and identify harms linked to online targeting and manipulation. The centre will also develop a world-first Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) test site to trial new ways to boost data privacy.
More information can be found here.