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New AI and Blockchain Centre at University of Surrey to usher in a new era for the digital economy

Last updated 02 October 2023
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Blockchain and AI

The University of Surrey has secured £10million in funding to launch an ambitious and unique research centre that will look to reshape the future of the digital economy with the help of artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.

The University of Surrey, together with the University of Edinburgh and Digital Catapult, is establishing the Centre for the Decentralised Digital Economy (DECaDE), thanks to £4million awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council announced by the government and £6million investment from industrial partners.

For five years and beyond, DECaDE will help make sure that the emerging decentralised digital economy profits all parties involved by developing insights that define a new model of work and value creation. The centre will focus its research into state-of-the-art AI tools and distributed ledger technologies and investigate how they can be used to help drive decentralised innovations in the digital economy. John Collomosse, Professor of Computer Vision at the Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing and Principal Investigator/Director of DECaDE, said: I

In a short space of time, we have seen our economy transformed by digital technologies, offering everyone the opportunity to be a producer, seller and direct consumer of services. Whether you are buying a sofa from a private seller on Amazon or you are ordering a takeaway on Just Eat, these peer-to-peer interactions are liberating. They are a significant change to how business was conducted only a few years ago. 

However, the platforms on which these digital services are built follow the same centralised, classic infrastructure of the past. We are standing on the cusp of a second digital economy disruption wave, led by the emergence of AI and distributed ledger technologies.  We believe that the governance of these platforms and the data that powers them will soon sit with individuals and decentralised organisations.

Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Amanda Solloway, said:

We rely on technology for so many things in our lives - from paying our bills and buying our weekly food shop to tackling climate change and finding new treatments for diseases. We must continue investing so we can keep pushing the boundaries of technological developments that improve our daily lives and transform industries.



United Kingdom

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