Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Digital worlds

This morning's meeting between the University Executive Board and Heads of Department was mainly about research. As well as our PVC for Research and Innovation, we have Faculty Directors of Research and Innovation, and have newly appointed three cross cutting Directors of Research whose aim is to promote high quality research around particular themes. Each of the Directors gave a short presentation this morning on their particular theme which are:

The Digital World
Energy and the Environment
Health Care across the Disciplines

I was particularly looking forward to the Digital World theme as this is obviously an area where we can contribute. The Digital Britain report published earlier this year set the scene for the introduction of policies to maximise the social and economic benefits from digital technologies. and the Digital Region project is the first major regional deployment of 'Superfast Broadband' in the UK - in South Yorkshire. This theme is not just about the development and use of digital technologies, but about their impact on society. I'm looking forward to exploring how we can be involved.

The other two themes also have a high ICT component, particularly in terms of data handling, and we're meeting all 3 of the Directors soon to discuss how we can collaborate. Collaboration was a key message in all presentations - these are multisdisciplinary areas and the global challenges will only be met by teams working across tradiotnal boundaries. From our perspective, I hope that our new collaboration environment, uSpace will be useful in facilitating some of that.

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