Research and training in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is a priority for EPSRC, and provides technologies vital to the prosperity of the UK, as well as the safety and wellbeing of its people. ICT research underpins a number of domains and is essential to achieving all of the EPSRC Prosperous Nation Outcomes.
ICT research covers a wide range of areas from photonics, to computer science, to electronics and communications technologies. It is vital that the research we support meets the needs of both technologists and technology users further along the ideas chain. Hence our portfolio must include both upstream and downstream research across these mutually supporting areas.
The ICT research we support has led to key advances in a number of domains and in many cases is world leading. As detailed in individual research area rationales we want to continue to support world class research to maintain a strong capability across the ICT landscape. In order to balance the portfolio, and meet the needs of the UK, there are some areas we want to support more and some where we want to encourage a refocussing of effort.
In addition to continuing to support areas of existing strength, the Theme also wants to encourage innovative thinking and support the development of new and emerging research trends and research areas. As part of this aim, the Theme has a priority of New and Emerging Areas.
Over the last delivery plan the portfolio has become more collaborative but there are opportunities for further cross-disciplinary working and co-creation, between ICT communities, with researchers in other areas and with the diverse range of users of ICT. We will foster greater collaboration and connection between ICT research communities and other disciplines as detailed in the Cross-Disciplinarity and Co-Creation priority.
In addition, to meet future challenges the theme will also:
- Focus on developing leaders of ICT research and supporting academics throughout the people pipeline.
- Focus on issues of equality and diversity in the ICT portfolio.
- Encourage and support researchers in ICT to consider aspects of responsible innovation in all areas of research.
- Encourage and support researchers in ICT to maximise impact from their research and address societal challenges.