Imperial researchers are helping policymakers and industry build a smarter society with the support of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund.
Tracking housing affordability
One project, led by Professor Majid Ezzati of the Artificial Intelligence Network, tracks housing affordability with administrative and open data and machine learning. Researchers set out to create a data and method infrastructure for using and integrating multiple administrative and open data for regular estimation of housing cost (purchase and rental) in London.
What we need are plans and policies that leverage cities’ potential for innovation to improve the health of low-income and marginalised groups. Professor Majid Ezzati
As part of the wider project to reduce health inequalities in cities around the world, researchers have downloaded data from the UK census, the land registry (address, date and cost of all sales), Rightmove and the UK Energy Performance Certificates, and obtained remote access to the English Housing Survey.
London’s housing affordability and inequality are linked because of changes in the geography of affordability in cities over time. The project has now begun exploratory analysis of both sale prices and quality, with work on rental prices to follow.
Evidence-based space policy
Dr Jonathan Eastwood of the Space Lab Network of Excellence has been developing an evidence-based policy for UK space safety in the 2020s. In collaboration with the London Institute of Space Policy and Law, Imperial researchers sought to explore the national challenges that space provides and to develop a policy platform within Imperial, to improve how the College’s expertise informs space policymaking. The project has examined the current state of UK policy in this area, the capabilities and expertise of Imperial, and the potential for Imperial to contribute evidence-based information to the development of UK Space Safety Policy.
Strong evidence-based policy and law is crucial to navigating the fluid and dynamic challenges of space research Dr Jonathan Eastwood
They have found that although the UK has been active in Space Safety, there is no dedicated reference to it in current UK Space Policy documents. Imperial is found to have considerable technical capabilities to inform policy challenges in all areas of Space Safety considered in the course of the research, in alignment with the college’s new Academic Strategy. Through the further cooperation of Space Lab and ISPL, there is a golden opportunity to translate this technical expertise into evidence-based Space Safety policy development.
These reports will be presented at an industry event on ‘Space Safety and Security’ on 21 October organised by the Imperial College Institute for Security Science and Techology (ISST), in conjunction with ISPL and Space Lab. Dr Eastwood also wrote a blog post on the findings for The Forum, Imperial’s policy engagement programme, to be sent to relevant policymakers in Parliament and the civil service.
Imperial’s Academic Strategy
The college’s Academic Strategy sets out a vision for Imperial as a place for authoritative thinking, world-leading teaching, and creative research ideas. We have identified four themes which bring together research, education and translation activity across our faculties over the next five years: sustainable society; healthy society; smart society; and resilient society. In line with the smart society examples outlined above, UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities funding is supporting our work across all four themes.
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