Welcome to HAT Research & Innovation



Research: Our Community of global researchers investigate digital behaviours, personal data analytics and algorithms, personalisation, Decentralised Internet technologies, Economics of data, Ethics, law, Business models, democracy and rights.

Innovation: Our Innovation programmes include Summer Forums, Workshops, Bootcamps and the HAT Accelerator for startups and scale-ups looking to integrate HATs into their capabilities

..the Internet is more like a social space than a thing so that its effects are more like those of Germany than those of hammers. The effects of Germany upon the people within it is to make them Germans (at least for the most part); the effects of hammers is not to make people hammers, .........but to force metal spikes into wood. As long as we understand the Internet as a hammer we will fail to discern the way it is like Germany. The problem is that modern perspectives tend to reduce the Internet to a hammer. In the grand narrative of modernity, the Internet is an efficient tool of communication, advancing the goals of its users who are understood as pre-constituted instrumental identities. The Internet, I suppose like Germany, is complex enough so that it may with some profit be viewed in part as a hammer. .......But the aspects of the Internet that I would like to underscore are those which instantiate new forms of interaction and which pose the question of new kinds of relations of power between participants. The question that needs to be asked about the relation of the Internet to democracy is this: are there new kinds of relations occurring within it which suggest new forms of power configurations between communicating individuals? In other words, is there a new politics on the Internet?
— Mark Poster, 2001



Launching on the 5 July 2018: The HAT Accelerator is a start-up and scale-up accelerator programme, helping businesses all over the world integrate their offerings with HATs so that they can increase their capability in data, creating benefits for individuals, firms and society. The HAT Accelerator helps firms raise funding, create new capabilities, MVPs and pilots as part of  the HAT community mission to decentralise personal data control, exchange and use globally

The HAT Accelerator will be partnering with some of the world’s leading organisations - to help generate growth in the personal data economy, improve societal welfare and create wealth from data.

Go to Launch Event


The Digital Person: A Symposium

The use and manipulation of our personal data is of enormous global concern.  The Digital Person symposium is an annual event that discusses personal data from three perspectives: digital personhood, law, freedom and democracy (2) personal data as an asset and the economic/business models (3) private analytics, data science and technology.  The symposium produces a white paper annually on the science and art of the digital person. With broad-ranging appeal, the series is designed to interest those in the sciences, humanities and social sciences with discussions relating to law, computer science, history, sociology, entrepreneurship, business, economics  and the global society. The Symposium is organised jointly by Wolfson College Cambridge and the HAT Community Foundation.

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Competitive Advantage in the Digital Economy 2018

CADE is the HAT's annual summer conference, where researchers, practitioners, students and policy makers gather to discuss the art and science of the digital and data economy in Venice, Italy! Foundation members get 20% off participation fee (registrations open in April).

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HATLAB is the Knowledge hub for the HAT. The HAT project started as a 6-university project funded by the RCUK Digital Economy programme. Over the years, our community of research have widened to include other higher education institutions and industry partners with HAT-related grant projects from all over the UK and globally. Many contribute to the open source code, conduct experiments and write insightful pieces that grow the knowledge base of the personal data economy

Academic leads from HATLAB partner organisations form part of the foundation's HATLAB steering board

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DROPS Project

Dynamic, Real-time, On-demand, Personalisation at Scale (DROPS) is a £1.2m EPSRC project with the HAT Community Foundation as the Lead Industry Partner. DROPS project starts 1 July 2018 and will investigate economic, legal and algorithmic models around personalised cyber-social-physical things. With HAT micro-servers, personalisation algorithms can run in real time, as an individual interacts with an object or service which creates data about them. Specifically, the project will be tackling children's personalised learning, supporting reading books tailored to a child's ability level and particular areas for improvement.

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Behavioural Visibility in Data (BeVID)

The ability for individuals to share their own data has only been possible recently, with the HAT (the Hub of All Things) technology that enable individuals to collect their own data from a range of Internet services and IoT devices. Individuals can donate or exchange their actual behavioural data, resulting in the possibility of individual behavioural data becoming a source for a new scientific method. The BeViD method is a collaboration of a team of researchers to craft the classic steps of any scientific process: observation; putting forward hypothesis; making predictions as well as testing the predictions by the controlled analysis of other individual BeVID records and finally creating conclusions on the basis of the analysed information. 

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Learn about the HAT, the value of personal data and the personal data economy from our HAT Wiki and Moodle courses

HAT Ecosystem Funding, public & private

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Interested in BECOMING a HAT RESEARCH & Innovation PARTNER?

Join the Foundation to be part of a global Research ecosystem for the Decentralised data exchange economy


HAT Research Information Repository (coming soon)