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ITaaU Network+: July 2013:
Issue 4

Collaborating with research teams, businesses, entrepreneurs and policy makers to understand the information technology behind the Digital Economy

3D printing workshop, Southampton - 27 June

Steve Brewer


3D printing has the potential to change the world, although not necessarily in the manner that we anticipate today. The academics and business champions who met at Wide Lane were keen to examine how and why this revolution could come to fruition. As with previous workshops, bringing together experts with different perspectives - chemistry, engineering, computing and business - proved to be a useful catalyst. The meeting begin with fascinating talk on the history of 3D printing or additive manufacturing as we now know it should be called, by Dr Shoufeng Yang from the University of Southampton. A report will be published shortly and we will announce a number of initiatives to follow up this fascinating day of demonstrations and discussions.


Design approaches for IT Utilities: a two day quest for the optimum interaction design models for IT utilities.


The Design workshop that takes place at the start of July has attracted much interest. Partly because the two day event provides an insight into two very different organisations, IBM and ustwo, and partly because the topic of design has emerged from previous workshops as being critical to many aspects of the digital economy. Furthermore, Dublin-based accessibility experts SMARTlab will be contributing their perspective on why design is crucial to addressing diversity issues.

Although the workshop involves sessions where both of the hosts will present their techniques, this is a participatory event and we will allow time to discuss and reflect upon the processes. There may still be places if you are quick, and we will certainly be returning to design matters again.


Digital Economy All Hands: DE2013 Open Digital, 4 - 6 November


We have previously mentioned that the fourth All Hands meeting for the RCUK Digital Economy Theme will take place from 4 - 6 November at Media City, Salford. The ITaaU Network+ will be present and we hope to be able to run some stimulating workshops that will help cement the role of IT utilities within the digital economy. We hope that many of the members of the ITaaU Network+ will be able to join us in Media City to share the experiences and achievements of the various activities that are emerging from our contribution to the Digital Economy.


Human Data Interaction: big data gets personal - Open Data Institute, London - 2 Oct, 2013


This workshop is focused on the emerging topic of Human-Data Interaction (HDI). It arises from the need, both ethical and practical, to engage users to a much greater degree with the collection, analysis, and trade of their personal data. HDI puts the human at the centre of the data flows that concern them, which requires provision of mechanisms for citizens to interact with these systems explicitly.

HDI is inherently interdisciplinary, encapsulating elements not only of traditional computer science ranging across data processing, systems design, visualisation and interaction design, but also of law, psychology and sociology. This workshop will initiate exploration of HDI from a few of these perspectives, with the aim of initiating conversations that will result in future collaborations around this exciting topic.

We are pleased to be able to announce that the meeting is scheduled to take place at the Open Data Institute located in the heart of Tech City, London.


Digital Economy: cross Network+ meeting, London - 20 June

As many of you will be aware, the ITaaU Network+ is funded under the Research Councils UK Digital Economy (DE) Theme. This is a broad interdisciplinary initiative design to stimulate the transformative effect of digital technologies on all aspect of our lives with a positive economic benefit. On the 20 June the coordinators of the four Networks met in London along with representatives from the Research Councils, the DE Programme Advisory Board as well as the TSB and other related initiatives. All were very pleased with the manner in which the Networks were progressing, interacting and planning for the future. The day also provided an opportunity to learn about many future initiatives that will be of interest to the members of the various networks and other schemes.

The main lesson from the meeting is that the Digital Economy is thriving and growing and we continue to be very pleased to be playing a small part in this groundbreaking phenomenon.

Research Councils UK Digital economy Theme

Adoption of ICT to improve security and trust in the UK food chain - 2-3 September, 2013

Interest has been considerable for the food security workshop. There are still places available if you would like to participate. For those that have registered, a letter will be circulated shortly with booking details for the accommodation and travel.

This two-day residential workshop to be held in County Antrim, Northern Ireland on the 2 and 3 of September will explore best practice from around the UK and beyond and strive to identify tools and ICT systems that can be harnessed to improve food product security, traceability, nutritional benefits and consumer confidence with the social, health and economic benefits that can arise.

This workshop will bring together scientific experts, policy makers and technology practitioners from across the spectrum of government agencies and subject domains that are responsible for everything from “field to fork”.

ICT and UK Food Chain Security - workshop

Security and Trust in IT Utilities: challenges, risks and benefits - Scoping meeting - 10 June, 2013

The main conclusion from the lively and informative scoping workshop on trust and security was that we should definitely run a longer event later in the year or early in 2014. This will probably be a three day event covering trust and trustworthiness with a focus on real world scenarios. Further investigations and literature reviews will be run in preparation.

One of the key issues that was identified during the discussions was the conflict between perception and measurable security for want of a better term as well as the ever increasing impact of crime in this field. With IT utilities pervading many aspects of our lives this is a rich area for study.

Highways to Europe and beyond

Members of the Network+ have been involved in many activities during the month. As part of the build up to the launch of Horizon 2020, the European Commission convened the invitation-only Digital Agenda Assembly 2013 in Dublin on the 19 and 20 June. Dr Cathy Mulligan from the Sustainable Society Network+ attended the event and Steve Brewer participated via the online channels. Many of the topics are closely aligned to the digital economy so we continue to monitor activity in this area.

Prof Lizbeth Goodman from SMARTlab in Dublin continues to play a leading role in the Digital Agenda for Europe through the open innovation activity. In particular Lizbeth is leading the development of a Roadmap to Open Innovation.

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