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. Our activities are organised around four rural challenges: Healthcare, Accessibility & Mobilities, Conservation of Natural Resources, Enterprise & Culture.
Technology research to meet challenges in these areas is focused around natural language generation and affective communication, mechanisms to support reasoning, coordination and collaboration, intelligent information infrastructures, satellite and wireless communications.
The direct involvement of user-partners as key actors in these activities is critical to ensure that new developments are inclusive, accessible and engaging.