Improving access to data for research and innovation is central to our mission at Health Data Research UK.  Whilst there are some exceptional examples in the UK of infrastructure to support discovery, access request management through to analysis, we lack a central one stop shop.  That is the vision for the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway.

“To provide a best in class, self-service and extensible infrastructure as a one-stop-shop destination to share, manage and drive the ethical and safe use of data, exploiting cutting-edge analytics and big data technologies to improve health outcomes.”

We will be looking to deliver in two major phases.  Firstly,  we will focus on the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), addressing the challenge of making the rich assets across the UK, and in particular from the UK Health Data Research Alliance and the forthcoming Digital Innovation Hubs, discoverable.  The second phase will be, through co-development with a technology partnership, to build-out a world class portal to support the whole journey,  from discovery through to analysis and dissemination, in a secure and ethical manner.

The procurement phase for the MVP has started, which will deliver on the aspects shown in the figure below.

The MVP will be comprised of two main parts:

  1. The Gateway Portal (MVP) will provide an exemplary user experience to support researchers and innovators in easily searching for relevant datasets and exploring associated metadata, and to support requesting access to the datasets.
  2. A Metadata Catalogue will provide the functionality to manage the datasets that will be discoverable through the Gateway Portal.

However, how we will develop is just as important as what we will develop.  We want this to be open, extensible and focused on the user communities.  The Gateway MVP will be based on design-think practices, developed using agile methodology with the MVP available for use as working code throughout the delivery and all the code we commission being available as Open Source through the HDR UK GitHub repository.  We hope this will provide a wider opportunity for the community to support and engage with this important project.

As we start to progress the MVP development, we will also be looking to convene a technology partnership to deliver the end-to-end vision.  More on this soon!

This work is being delivered through the Digital Innovation Programme with funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.  We would like to thank the UKRI for their great support.

For more information on the development and procurement process please visit the Gateway Development page.