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HDR UK Federated Analytics

A transformational infrastructure programme to enable researchers to securely access and analyse data across multiple locations.

Trusted Research Environments (TREs) are secure locations in which data are safely available for researchers to analyse, however it is difficult for researchers to perform analyses across multiple TREs. There is great heterogeneity amongst TRE implementations and the analysis tools that use them. To enable federated analytics at scale, a solution must be straightforward for existing, independent systems to adopt, it must cope with the variety of system implementations, and it must work within the “Five Safes” framework that enables data services to provide safe research access to data.

During the TRE-FX and TELEPORT pilot projects supported by DARE UK, proof of concept solutions to support federated analytics were developed. This work demonstrated how to streamline the use of analysis tools across multiple TREs while ensuring that the access is safe. The Federated Analytics Programme will build on this work to ensure that all HDR UK Research Driver Programmes, and the wider scientific community, have access to advanced federated analytics services. Detailed descriptions of the TRE-FX and TELEPORT projects (and other DARE UK outputs) are available from the Zenodo DARE UK community pages.

The Federated Analytics programme is working hand in hand with ELIXIR UK and is adopting many ELIXIR technologies, most notably RO-Crate and building on the work of the Five Safes RO Crate and infrastructure for computational workflows, such as WorkflowHub. The intention is to re-use existing standards, especially those from GA4GH, into the solutions we develop. All our developments will be in the open and with permissive open source licences, for example HUTCH. Our technology decisions will be taken to support the HDR UK Driver programmes, and in the first instance the Inflammation and Immunity driver and our other partner programmes including BY-COVID and EOSC-ENTRUST.

Programme aims

  • Create a framework for federated services to advance health data science and support the deployment of advanced analytics by researchers
  • Integrate with and leverage opportunities across the infrastructure programmes to add value and maximise user benefit
  • Collaborate with partner organisations to establish a community that can drive standards and best practice while encouraging innovative approaches to federation and its application
  • Improve transparency around the technical engineering and governance of federated analytics to make it easier for developers from other disciplines to get involved


  • Industry (BC Platforms, Bitfount, Arjuna Technologies)
  • ELIXIR-UK, the national node of ELIXIR Europe

Programme leads

Mailing list

To receive updates from the Federated Analytics programme and help influence its directions, join the HDRUKFedA mailing list.