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ITaaU Network+: Spring 2014: Issue: 7
Collaborating with research teams, businesses, entrepreneurs and policy makers to understand the information technology behind the Digital Economy

Libraries of the Future workshops - British Library and Oxford eResearch Centre

Steve Brewer


The Libraries of the Future theme was further developed at workshops at the British Library on the 13 November and at Oxford eResearch Centre on the 5 December. Christine Madsen from the Bodleian Libraries contributed a vivid historical perspective on new planning and David De Roure provided a thought provoking contribution on libraries as social machines. Leah McEwan also provided US insight into how libraries can interact with scholarly societies with Chemistry used as a an exemplar.

The discussions were taken further forward with ITaaU's participation at the Annual Workshop of the International Association of Scientific and Technological Libraries (IATUL) Research Data Management event at the University of Oxford.


Trust and Security in IT utilities: workshop - 21-22 November, 2013


This two day workshop set out to explore the twin themes of trust and security. The day on trust was introduced by Shenja van der Graaf from iMinds in Belgium who provided a fascinating overview of the scale of research required to gain insight into how people really act with respect to trust. Tim Gollins from The National Archive also spoke about the ITaaU-supported work currently underway to address digital sensitivity measures at the heart of the Nations's record-keeping. On the second day security-related matters were introduced by Andrew Martin from Oxford University.


UNISON, ITaaU, CommNet Networks meeting - Institute of Physics, London: 16 December, 2013


One of the supplementary aims of the ITaaU Network+ is to form bridges with other, related networks. To this end a meeting was held at the Institute of Physics in London to bring together representatives from ITaaU, UNISON and CommNet. The UNISON network exists to support and broaden the community of photonics researchers. CommNet is an EPSRC-funded network supporting all aspects of networking.

The workshop in London was successful and led to a number of follow up actions including visits to the newly built photonics lab at the University of Bristol. We look forward to further developments as a result of this partnership.

IBM-ITaaU Design workshop: Hursley - 29 January, 2014


In a departure from the usual open format for ITaaU workshops, a more focussed event was held in partnership with the design team from IBM at Hursley and a design team from Winchester School of Art which is part of the University of Southampton. With further input from chemists at Southampton, the workshop took a design philosophy approach to thinking about the scientific laboratory of the future. A number of fascinating ideas emerged which will filter through to various future activities and opportunities for the ITaaU Network+.

University of Bristol, High Performance Networking Lab (Photonics) - 6 February, 2014


Professor Dimitra Simeonidou has built a new state of the art high performance networking lab at the University of Bristol. We visited the lab following the inter-network meeting which brought together UNISON, CommNet and ITaaU. We were particularly fascinated to see how the group have established a collection of test beds to demonstrate the benefits of Software Defined Networking.

Whilst in Bristol we also visited the Watershed Arts Centre as this is a key node on the network that has been configured for Bristol City Council. The potential benefits of this are clear once you realise that Bristol plays host to numerous production companies, digital media studios and cinemas.

ITaaU Network meeting - 19/20 June, Southampton

This two day event will be an opportunity to bring together all those who have been involved in the ITaaU Network+ to date. All of the funded pilot projects and secondees will be represented.

We will also report back on all of our workshops. In addition, a series of keynote talks from experts in related fields will inspire and inform delegates and help set the agenda for future work in the area of IT utilities in the Digital Economy.

Keynote speakers:

- Joe McLeod, Global Design Director at ustwo

- Shenja Van Der Graaf, iMinds, Belgium

- Elizabeth Churchill, Director of Human Computer Interaction, eBay Research Labs at eBay Inc

- David De Roure, Professor of e-Research at University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre

- Lizbeth Goodman, Professor of Inclusive Design & Chair of Creative Technology Innovation at University College Dublin

- Food Standards Agency, UK (TBC)

Registration and further details: ITaaU Network meeting

Data analysis workshop: Wide Lane, University of Southampton - 7 March, 2014

This workshop focused on the anlytic aspects of data in the context of IT utilities in the digital economy. As such we welcomed mathematicians and stataticians in addition to others with an ongoing interest in our programme of workshops.

Professor Jeremy Frey introduced the topic: "we want to take a look at some big data examples where in particular the linking between items of data/information is useful and important (i.e. the network graphs etc) as well as the detailed content of the data. We are interested in the confluence of statistical, mathematical and computer science techniques that are emerging to handle complex, heterogeneous and large data sets (so for example a large amount of small complex data as well as a great deal of simpler data)."

Libraries of the Future, workshop: Community Engagement - University of Aberdeen

This event continues the series of workshops on the theme of Libraries of the Future with a focus this time on community engagement. We are very pleased to welcome you to the Sir Duncan Rice Library at the University of Aberdeen.

Key note speakers are:

- Sarah Chapman from Aberdeen University Special Collections department

- Simon Burnett from RGU

This new library describes itself as a 21st century space for learning and research having been opened less than two years ago. We welcome all those with an interest in the theme of Libraries of the Future and especially those concerned with outreach and community activities and related knwoledge management.

Further details and registration

Scoping workshop on UK Creative, Digital and IT industries and digital platforms for media production: Bournemouth - 10 April, 2014

Following on from the successful Brighton Fuse project, a scoping study was funded by the ESRC to investigate the viability of a similar study in the Bournemouth area. The two Universities in Bournemouth have fostered a cluster of graduates, research groups and studios that are making significant inroads into the creative digital sector. A fact that has been recognised by the Prime Minister in Prime Minster's Questions in a question about the recent British successes in the Oscars.

We plan to have a larger network meeting looking into the UK Creative, Digital and IT sector and the digital platforms that support media production in the autumn. In the meantime, we will run a forward-looking scoping workshop to set the agenda for this meeting.

We are pleased to announce that Dick Penny, Managing Director of Bristol Watershed media centre, will be explaining how Bristol has achieved great success through the role of Watershed as a connecting hub for the University, the City Council and the diverse and vibrant creative community across the City.

Workshop registration and further details: Creative, Digital and IT industries: digital platforms for media production

Report on Creative, Digital and IT (CDIT) activity in the Bournemouth region: Bournemouth Digital Pier

Apps for healthcare workshop: University of Southampton - 7 May, 2014

This workshop is a joint venture between the RCUK-funded Digital Economy Hub on Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy which is led by Professor Paul Watson at the University of Newcastle. The agenda will draw together elements of healthcare from a social inclusion angle and link these to technological opportunities that IT utilities offer and also explore what new IT utilities are needed in this area.

The event will be held at the University of Southampton on the 7th May. The exact venue has yet to be confirmed.

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