R&D: Global data infrastructure for trade

Researching how to help the UK build stronger trade links for data-enabled businesses, focusing on Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and Germany.

People to talk to about this

Data infrastructure for trade: why is it important?

Many businesses want to grow export revenues and secure overseas investors. Some businesses struggle to do this because they do not know which countries are suitable for expansion or do not understand data regulations in target countries.

Through our research – focusing on the UKHong Kong, Australia, Canada and Germany – we want to understand barriers such as these and determine if and how the ODI can help reduce them.

In practice

In Germany, data protection laws are set by the European Union and overseen at the federal level by the Federal Data Protection Commissioner. However there are also separate data protection authorities for the various German states that comprise the federal republic, all with their own regulations, interpretations and guidance.

Our approach

We want to help organisations and governments understand: the current data landscape; barriers to trade; and how to help businesses expand internationally. The project aims to do this by:

  • researching: the current global and national data infrastructure; barriers that may hinder trade by data-enabled businesses; and examples of successful trade by businesses
  • prototyping knowledge products (such as case studies and workshop aids) to help overcome barriers
  • recommending policy interventions by governments

Key outputs

Blog post: China’s digital silk road – data infrastructure for international trade? How emerging global initiatives can help data-enabled businesses decide where to export or seek investment, and what that means for international trade.

This work is part of a three-year innovation programme, running to March 2020 with a funding profile of £2m each year from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Through our R&D programme, we aim to shape future services and promote productivity and growth with cutting edge expertise.

Browse our reports and blogs from the research, below.

Image credit: Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash