RCUK Digital Economy Hub
focusing on the rural digital economy

2009 – 2015

What is digital economy?

Digital economy research brings together expertise from different academic disciplines to understand and develop new digital technologies – working closely with those who will benefit from the research. These partners are crucial to the success of the research and may be drawn from community groups, NGOs, government or industry.

The Research Councils UK Digital Economy Theme is supporting research to rapidly realise the transformational impact of such technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy. Since its inception in 2008 the Theme has invested over £138m on a range of activities. These include three large interdisciplinary Research Hubs, led by the Universities of Aberdeen, Newcastle and Nottingham.

dot.rural is the RCUK Digital Economy Hub focusing on the rural digital economy. Rural areas have specific characteristics that create challenges around issues such as quality of life and wealth creation. These include: small, often dispersed populations; narrow and uneven channels of information flow; rapid change in population structures and economic activity bases; and restricted access to digital infrastructure. We believe that rural areas of the UK can, through the user-led application of digital technology, be more economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Our aim is to harness the Hub’s expertise with a range of partners to realise this ambition.


This website contains information related to the RCUK Digital Economy Hub based at the University of Aberdeen 2009-2015. It is a legacy website and is not updated regularly. For information on projects that were conducted during the lifetime of the Hub visit the Projects section. For more detailed outcomes related to the grant visit the individual project pages or the dot.rural page at Gateway to Research.

Individual interdisciplinary research projects carried out most of the research at the dot.rural Digital Economy Hub alongside individual PhD and partnership projects. All projects were interdisciplinary and addressed real world problems. From buses to bumblebees, first responders to local history, dot.rural projects involve user partners and innovative technology solutions aiming to improve society, economy or the environment.


This section contains news from the time the Hub was active.

  • dot.rural Showcase event 18 June 2015
    You are invited to a celebratory afternoon on the 18th of June 2015, showcasing the research carried out by the dot.rural Hub over the past six years. The event will begin with a series of short presentations followed by an exhibition and demonstrations of dot.rural projects. Lunch will be available from 1pm and the event […]
  • Post Doctoral Research Position in Trust, Provenance and Linked Data
    Interested in Trust, Provenance and Linked Data? We have a post-doctoral researcher post available, closing date 28 May 2015. Information is below, to apply visit the University’s job pages. A brief summary of the role is below. To support our research programme we are looking to appoint a postdoctoral research fellow to work in the […]
  • Matt Dennis at Digital Health Conference, Florence, Italy
    This week at ACM Digital Health in Florence, Italy, dot.rural’s Matt Dennis is presenting “Designing a Tablet-based Intervention to Support Self-checking for Melanoma” in Session 6: Digital Prevention and Interventions from 11am on Tuesday 19th May. The full programme is online.


dot.rural was led by Peter Edwards, Professor of Computing Science (Director) and John D. Nelson, Professor of Transport Studies (Co-Director). They were joined by a group of academic investigators who lead the various research themes. Research staff included post-doctoral research fellows and research assistants, alongside a large cohort of PhD students. To deliver on its activities, the Hub drew on the expertise of academic colleagues from across the University of Aberdeen and a variety of other institutions.

Contact Us

Contact Address

dot.rural Digital Economy Hub

MacRobert Building

King’s College

Aberdeen, AB24 5UA

Contact Details

+44 (0)1224 274065