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December 18, 2008

JISC IE and e-Research Call briefing day

I attended the briefing day for the JISC's Information Environment and e-Research Call in London on Monday and my live-blogged notes are available on eFoundations LiveWire for anyone that is interested in my take on what was said.

Quite an interesting day overall but I was slightly surprised at the lack of name badges and a printed delegate list, especially given that this event brought together people from two previously separate areas of activity. Oh well, a delegate list is promised at some point.  I also sensed a certain lack of buzz around the event - I mean there's almost £11m being made available here, yet nobody seemed that excited about it, at least in comparison with the OER meeting held as part of the CETIS conference a few weeks back.  At that meeting there seemed to be a real sense that the money being made available was going to result in a real change of mindset within the community.  I accept that this is essentially second-phase money, building on top of what has gone before, but surely it should be generating a significant sense of momentum or something... shouldn't it?

A couple of people asked me why I was attending given that Eduserv isn't entitled to bid directly for this money and now that we're more commonly associated with giving grant money away rather than bidding for it ourselves.

The short answer is that this call is in an area that is of growing interest to Eduserv, not least because of the development effort we are putting into our new data centre capability.  It's also about us becoming better engaged with the community in this area.  So... what could we offer as part of a project team? Three things really: 

  • Firstly, we'd be very interested in talking to people about sustainable hosting models for services and content in the context of this call.
  • Secondly, software development effort, particularly around integration with Web 2.0 services.
  • Thirdly, significant expertise in both Semantic Web technologies (e.g. RDF, Dublin Core and ORE) and identity standards (e.g. Shibboleth and OpenID).

If you are interested in talking any of this thru further, please get in touch.


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Interesting about the lack of enthusiasm... We didn't even have enough enthusiasm to attend this event at all, because the amount of time and faffage getting one of these applications together is just not worth it. It always goes to the same old crowd anyway.

Yes I guess some people might think it'll go to same old crowd, it is helpful to be reminded that things look like this. In response... I think the funding streams for start-up projects have really made a difference opening out the JISC repository funding stream to others. We're also very aware of sharing lessons and experience and have put mechanisms in place to do this...and we have plans in the making for more of this to come.

Regarding the lack of buzz...yes that might be the case, I'm not surprised in comparison to the OER call...whole different momentum. We should be far more proud of the call and shout these things out ...it is more exciting than it perhaps looks even to us caught up in the administration. I personally am really pleased we're trying to more closely align information infrastructure projects and services with research and learning use and process. These things take time and a lot of progress has been made and there is more to do. This call contributes to that progress. Hope I'm not being defensive...don't mean to be, rather just a response. Thanks Andy for the live blog and the reflections. Rachel

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