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TRE-FX Project


Delivering a federated network of TREs to enable safe analytics

TRE-FX, delivering a federated network of TREs to enable safe analytics

TRE-FX is a project funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the “DARE UK (Data and Analytics Research Environments UK)” programme (MC_PC_23007).


Trusted Research Environments (TREs) are secure locations in which data are placed for researchers to analyse. They host administrative data, hospital data or any other data that must be securely isolated and only accessible for approved queries by approved researchers.

However, it is hard for a researcher to perform analysis across multiple TREs, for example when data is to be analysed across geographical or governance boundaries, such as the devolved nature of healthcare in the United Kingdom. Yet this ability is urgently needed.

Analysis across a federation of TREs would enable timely analysis of UK wide scattered data to answer urgent questions, as we needed in the COVID-19 pandemic. The technologies and standards we need to be able to do this are available now. They do not need to be invented.

TRE-FX is assembling leading technology providers from ELIXIR-UK and HDR UK, with three TRE providers and two leading analysis platforms to show through a real reference implementation how we can use secure Research Objects to move between TREs while still following the Five Safes framework that govern and protect patient data; all overseen by patient representatives.

The impact will be a step change for how researchers can safely combine data from many sources, and for how data providers from any sector can safely implement this using technology and standards we already have today.


Please email contact🤠 (replacing 🤠 with @) for any questions.


  • ELIXIR UK via The University of Manchester – Carole Goble, Stian Soiland-Reyes
  • University of Nottingham – Philip Quinlan, Thomas Giles, Jonathan Couldridge
  • Health Data Research UK (HDR UK) – Emily Jefferson
  • University of Dundee – Christian Cole
  • University of Swansea – Simon Thompson
  • University of Liverpool – Rebecca Wilson
  • University of Birmingham – Elizabeth Sapey
  • Bitfount – Naaman Tammuz
  • Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Trust – Suzy Gallier