Launching today, marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the Health Data Research UK Sandbox is a virtual testing environment for products, services, innovations or knowledge that require access to large scale data to improve the health of patients and the population.  The Sandbox will provide test cases for a government initiative, delivered by Health Data Research UK, to transform access to the UK’s health data – safely and securely – for research that could pioneer new and faster treatments for patients and find new cures for diseases.

Health Data Research UK is the national institute for health data science with a mission to align the UK’s health data to enable discoveries that improve people’s lives.  It is seeking applications from researchers and innovators across healthcare, academia and companies of all sizes to participate in the Sandbox.  Ideas, products or services that are sought include those that will benefit patients and the public; demonstrate the innovative use of health data; or test the elements of the Digital Innovation Hub Programme – a £37.5 million programme funded by UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to create a world-leading data infrastructure and UK-wide approach to secure data services.

If successful, the selected ‘use cases’ will receive access to expertise in coding, technology, meta data and study feasibility, alongside access to use secure data through the Digital Innovation Hub Programme.  The development and testing environment of the Health Data Research UK Sandbox will also create a community of researchers and innovators who share a mission to use health data securely and responsibly to benefit patients.  The Sandbox will be delivered in partnership, with the support of organisation including Medicines Discovery Catapult.

Caroline Cake, Chief Operating Officer at Health Data Research UK, said: “Our Sandbox provides an exciting and unique opportunity for researchers and innovators to contribute to the development of the UK’s health data research infrastructure and at the same time get input on their ideas and access to secure data.  We’re interested in hearing from people from diverse backgrounds and organisations to help us test the Digital Innovation Hub programme, which aims to support the UK in its ambition to become the home of health data science.”

For further information and to apply visit the Sandbox page on the Health Data Research UK website. Applications close at 5pm on 7 August 2019.


Notes to editors

About Health Data Research UK

Health Data Research UK is the national institute for health data science. Its mission is to unite the UK’s health data to make discoveries that improve people’s lives. By working in partnership with the NHS, industry, academia and patients, and providing safe and secure access to rich health data, it aims to better understand diseases and discover new ways to prevent, treat and cure them. Health Data Research UK is funded by UK Research and Innovation, Department of Health (England) and the UK devolved administrations, and leading medical research charities.

About the Digital Innovation Hub Programme

The Digital Innovation Hub Programme is funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. The fund is delivered by UK Research and Innovation. The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund brings together the UK’s world-leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. It provides funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years.

For further information please contact Francesca Lord on 07732 689252.

Visit the Sandbox page