Published June 3, 2024 | Version v1
Report Open

The 2023 DARE UK Driver Projects: Summaries and lessons learned


Phase 1 of the DARE UK programme sought to address critical challenges in the UK's sensitive data research landscape. By undertaking a series of exploratory projects and consulting with the data research community and the public, DARE UK made significant strides towards creating a more cohesive and efficient data research infrastructure for public benefit. The recently completed DARE UK Driver Projects, which ran from February to October 2023, were a crucial step in this journey. Building on the insights from earlier Sprint Exemplar Projects, these five Driver Projects utilised the Five Safes framework to inform the design and delivery of a UK-wide network of Trusted Research Environments (TREs) for sensitive data research.

The SARA project developed innovative methods to enhance data reliability and accessibility by focusing on semi-automated risk assessments. The SACRO project created the ‘ACRO’ engine to automate disclosure risk checks, reducing the need for manual inspection. Other projects like TRE-FX and TELEPORT explored mechanisms for federated data analysis and swift data access, while SATRE established a standard specification for TREs to ensure consistency and security.

The outcomes of these projects provided valuable insights and reflections, highlighting the strong demand from the research community for advanced TRE capabilities and the effectiveness of sprint-style project portfolios for early-stage conceptualisation. Key learnings emphasised the importance of dedicated resources, community-led collaborations, and robust public involvement and engagement strategies. These elements have been identified as critical for the success of ongoing and future efforts to advance sensitive data research in the UK. This summary report provides insight into the outcomes of the Driver Projects and the lessons learned.


DARE UK Phase 1 Driver Projects Summary Report.pdf

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