Digital Economy USRG

Southampton hosts RCUK Digital Economy "IT as a Utility" Network+

May 15, 2012
by Graeme Earl

Many congratulations to Professor Jeremy Frey whose £1.5 million Network+ award has now been announced by RCUK.
“As part of a new way of better taking forward existing research and training investments the RCUK Digital Economy (DE) Theme has set up a network in each of its four priority challenge areas: IT as a Utility, Communities and Culture, New Economic Models and Sustainable Society.

“Each ‘Network+’ has received £1.5 million funding over three years, with a broad scope that goes above and beyond the standard network remit.

“In line with the DE Theme objectives, each Network+ will focus on harnessing digital technologies to bring about transformational impact on community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy. They will co-create Grand Challenges, engage with and build communities, and inform the research agenda. A series of initial networking events in January 2012 specifically focused on the instigating the Network+ activities.

“The Network+ will:

  • Hold ‘standard’ networking activities, including workshops, meetings and interactive forums
  • Support N+N activities to bring together people and foster best+best interactions with UK and overseas groups
  • Link to other RCUK-supported initiatives such as the AHRC-led Connected Communities Programme and the AHRC KE Hubs
  • Make and maintain links with the full spectrum of industry and users, including the third sector
  • Identify and prioritise the research and societal challenges in the appropriate DE Challenge Area and develop future Grand Challenges in the DE area. They will generate various reports and other outputs – for example, working with Government departments may help to inform and influence policy.
  • Develop placements/secondments, a big feature of each network, which will encourage ideas-generation and knowledge exchange between users and the knowledge base.
  • Support up to 10 ‘scoping study funds’ per network, for prioritised activities at up to £50,000 each. This should help in the creation of higher quality research proposals.”

Network+ holders are:

Sustainable Society; Dr Cathy Mulligan, Nottingham

Communities and Culture: Dr Helen Thornham, Leeds

IT as a Utility: Professor Jeremy Frey, Southampton

New Economic Models: Professor Roger Maull, Exeter

Categories: Blog.