UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Digital Technologies Policy Laboratory

STEaPP's Digital Technologies Policy Lab works collaboratively across disciplines and with the policy community to develop responses to the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies

New and emerging digital technologies are reshaping the ways that we interact, work, and govern. They have profound implications for the promotion of justice and equity, for economic growth, for the provision of public goods, and for international affairs and security. Due to the pace of change as well as the scale and scope of these transformations, the formulation of policies that effectively address these issues is particularly difficult. In order to support sound policy solutions in this context, the Digital Technologies Policy Lab works closely with the national and international policy community to understand their goals and challenges and to develop research projects that provide solutions.

We have a number of projects underway in STEaPP that have been co-designed with policy makers. These are typically oriented around specific research questions that have been developed collaboratively - with real attention to the specific needs of those who work to design and implement innovative policy approaches to the deeply challenging problems as well as the unprecedented opportunities brought about by technological change.

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PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity

PETRAS is a consortium of 12 research institutions with outstanding expertise in securing the connected world, tackling critical issues in privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security

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Gender and IoT

Gender and IoT is an interdisciplinary project exploring the implications of IoT on gender-based domestic violence and abuse and is funded by a Social Science Plus+ award from UCL's Collaborative Social Science Domain

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Standardizing and Regulating Emerging Technologies

What are the main challenges of standardizing emerging digital technologies and processes such as the Internet of Things (IoT) or algorithmic decision systems (ADS)? How can standards encourage responsible innovation and underpin public policy objectives?

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Violence, Health and Society

How can we reduce the harms to health caused by violence and improve the data that underpins theory, policy and professional practice?

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VAMHN: ​Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network

The VAMHN aims to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems among children, adults, and the elderly, by bringing together experts with different ways of thinking about violence, abuse and mental health.

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RespondXR: Digital vulnerability of immersive training for first responders

What digital vulnerabilities are likely to emerge from mainstreaming immersive Extended Reality in the training of law enforcement and how might these be overcome?

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Regulatory Strategies for Targeted Healthcare

Investigating the development of regulatory approaches and frameworks for the manufacture and delivery of advanced biotherapeutics, such as cell and gene therapies.

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REG-MEDTECH: Regulatory and Standardization Challenges for Connected and Intelligent Medical Devices

Investigating the critical cybersecurity, software, algorithmic decision-making challenges posed by connected, intelligent medical devices.

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The UK Computer Misuse Act 1990 and cases of technology-enabled domestic violence and abuse

How does the UK Computer Misuse Act 1990 apply to cases of technology-enabled domestic violence and abuse?

STEaPP Contributors

Dr Uchenna Ani, Senior Research Fellow, PETRAS Centre of Excellence
Dr Edison Bicudo - Research Fellow
Dr Irina Brass, Associate Professor in Regulation, Innovation and Public Policy
Dr Andrew Mkwashi - Research Fellow in Regulation and Standardization of Connected, Intelligent Medical Devices
Dr Ine Steenmans, Lecturer in Futures, Analysis and Policy
Francesca Stevens, Research Assistant
Dr Leonie Tanczer, Lecturer in International Security and Emerging Technologies
Professor Jeremy Watson CBE, Professor of Engineering Systems and Director and PI of the PETRAS Centre of Excellence