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ITaaU Network+: April 2013: Issue 1
Understanding and exploiting the IT utilities behind the Digital Economy


Steve Brewer


On behalf of the Principal Investigator and Co-Investigators of ITaaU Network+ I would like to welcome you to the first monthly newsletter for the IT as a Utility Network+. The ramp up of network activity in March has resulted in an increase in numbers and also a substantial number of visitors to the website.

There are 79 members on the network mailing list which is what essentially defines the Network+ and this newsletter is published as part of this Jisc service. If you are not on the list please join and also please do encourage others too, who might benefit from the Network+.


Successful Pilot Projects


Two projects have been selected for funding from the first Pilot Project call, they are:

Trusted Tiny Things

The project is led by Edoardo Pignotti, Peter Edwards, Computing Science, University of Aberdeen. Nagendra Velaga, Geography & Environment, University of Aberdeen.

This project addresses some of the challenges inherent in developing the vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) as a dynamic global network of sensors and the like, based on standard and interoperable communication protocols.

Uplands Rescue Resiliance

This project addresses the challenges of achieving rapid and resilient communications between civilian mobile devices and outside agencies such as first responders in remote regions.

The project is led by Eliane Bodanese, Queen Mary University of London, John Clarkson, Patrick Langdon, University of Cambridge.


Smart Spaces and Diversity: ITaaU workshop - 11 March


The Smart Spaces and Diversity workshop finally took place on the 11 March having been postponed from its original date due to the severe weather after Christmas. We will publish a report on the day shortly on the key issues captured and the recommended follow up actions.

SSI Collaborations Workshop - Oxford


ITaaU Network+ was a silver sponsor at the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) Collaboration Workshop 2013. A relentless sequence of lightning talks and breakout sessions generated a myriad of viable ideas for projects and other ventures. There was much enthusiasm for the ITaaU secondments and pilot projects, not to mention workshops. It looks certain that a number of compelling ventures will emerge from these two stimulating days at Merton College, Oxford.

Responsive Website redesign with WordPress, new logo and more...


The web site is undergoing a redesign which so far has included a move to a WordPress Responsive framework and a new look in the form of the ITaaU Network+ logo (see above) and other design elements. There is more to be done which will happen over the course of the month of April.

We are analysing web statistics to monitor what our audience is interested in. The new site has attracted 2191 hits during March from over 500 unique visitors.


Secondments - First call extended to April 30th

The deadline for the secondments call has been extended until 30 April.

Applications received in March will receive preferential treatment. The extension is due to the number of worthy expressions of interest that need further time to process into viable applications.

We are looking for individuals with research interests who are based in academia, industry or within policy bodies including government who wish to spend up to 6 months working in a complementary professional environment.

Secondments Call 1 - further details

ITaaU workshop: Libraries of the Future - 17 April, Bodleian Library, Oxford

The goal of this workshop is to explore how developments in IT as a Utility are contributing to the evolution of Libraries both in the research domain and elsewhere.

Some of the topics that we will explore will be:
- Libraries as social spaces
- Future roles for library information specialists
- Uses for mobile technologies in libraries
- The potential for libraries to offer data and information curation services

The term IT utilities covers various concepts from sensor networks to mobile devices enabling people and things to seamlessly interact and co-exist. This workshop presents an opportunity for those in the library world with interests in this area to interact face to face with researchers, policy makers and commercial figures to capture the key issues and identify some recommendations and opportunites for further action.

We would welcome all those interested in contributing to forward thinking in the are of IT utilities and Libraries of the Future to attend this event.

Registration details

Emerging Economies: International perspectives: ITaaU workshop - 23 April

The Emerging Economies: International Perspectives workshop will bring together experts from different fields and regions to spend a day analysing the extent to which IT as a Utility enables rapid progress to be made in the development of emerging economies.

We are pleased to welcome Professor John Wood, secretary general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities to the workshop. The workshop is being hosted at the ACU headquarters in Tavistock Square, London.

The workshop will explore how innovative practices have emerged in parts of the world where Information Technologies has fostered rapid economic development or is, at least, inextricably linked to its enablement.

Registration details

Advisory Group Meeting - 24th April

The Advisory Group plays a critical role in capturing the needs of representative stake holders on the Digital Economy in terms of IT utilities. We particularly appreciate this and enjoy the contribution they make. The next meeting of the AG will be at partner Ustwo's Shoreditch headquarters in London.

Ustwo are a digital design studio that delivers interaction and user interface design and more. Having visited the lively and stimulating offices in the heart of Shoreditch I know that the rest of the AG will appreciate the visit.

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Steve Brewer
Network Coordinator
IT as a Utility Network+
Room 2001, Building 30
Department of Chemistry
University of Southampton
SO17 1BJ

023 8059 4165
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IT as a Utility Network+ One of four challenge areas under the Research Councils UK Digital Economy theme

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