Category Archives: Infrastructure

BIS Capital Consultation- advance notice

BIS Capital Consultation – advance notice

As a Member of the EPSRC ICT Strategic Advisory Team I’d like to alert members of our ICT research community to the fact that a BIS Capital Consultation is going to be launched this month, probably with a March deadline. This is to identify UK priorities in building a world-leading science and research infrastructure for the 2020s, across the whole landscape and is for £1.1 billion in 2015/2016 and to grow with inflation to 2020/21.

Following advice from Dr Liam Blackwell at EPSRC, the earlier consultation on this has provided some direction on the balance between capital for projects, institutions, and national facilities (including international collaborations). This is now moving into a phase of securing input on choices for a more detailed plan for capital investment.

Once we get more detail on the timescales, EPSRC will be drawing this to the attention of departments in the ICT landscape, but in the meantime it would be helpful if you would use your networks to alert people to this forthcoming consultation. It would be also useful if you could reflect on the weighting this gives to areas which can plan out large scale capital investments, just because of the way the approach is structured.

More later.

Professor Gerard Parr
Chair in Telecommunications Engineering
University of Ulster Coleraine
Northern Ireland, UK

EGI Community Forum 2013, Manchester

I have just returned from a productive visit to the lively and stimulating EGI Community Forum in Manchester. ITaaU Network+ was invited to contribute to Wednesdays’ series of presentations on sustainability issues. This proved to be a serendipitous follow up to the recent Collaboration Workshop in Oxford as SSI was also included. ITaaU nicely complements the work on applications and middleware components, as the Network+ supports researchers with interests in the more physical interactions and interfaces to networks and infrastructures.

The combined session provided an opportunity to outline the ITaaU Network+ and the various funding schemes that we are able to offer: pilot projects, secondments and workshops where appropriate. In the discussions that ensued at least two viable workshop ideas emerged and we hope to be able to announce these very soon. The funding of current secondments call is unfortunately limited to UK-based researchers, however we are able to support international travel for candidates if they have an institution outside of the UK that is willing to support their work. Similar constraints will be applicable to our forthcoming second Pilot Project call.

The European  Grid Infrastructure supports the Infrastructure needs of the European research community but the IT as a Utility Network+, although currently UK-focussed is gradually reaching out to a wider International audience and will do more so in the future. When it eventually emerges, the Horizon 2020 call will present some interesting opportunites for ITaaU members to join partners from across Europe in developing our activities further.

In the meantime, Manchester represented a fine opportunity to re-acqaint myself with many old friends, former colleagues and new contacts during this challenging but exciting time of transition.