[okfn-coord] Fwd: notes from Open Innovation meeting (JISC call)

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Thu Apr 8 16:26:59 UTC 2010

dear all,

An update on this. The IDEA Lab led proposal didn't make it through 
University internal selection, on the grounds it was more ambitious than 
the funding/scope allowed (true) and didn't fit the Open Innovation 
strand (arguable).

The proposal that was accepted for further work didn't seem that strong 
TBH. However it is a cross-Scottish University network with strong 
business connections already. I spoke with Siobhan Jordan from 
http://www.interface-online.org.uk/ earlier today, she was asking would 
OKF still like to be involved and if so how.

She's suggesting amorphous engagement stuff, "offering our best 
practises", steering committee, advice on openess of project outputs.
Which are also rather diffuse - an iPhone application! podcasts! Topic 
maps! - and now as ambitious as the IDEAlab proposal and including some 
of the same people and projects.

This "Business and Community Engagement" scene gives me prickles on the 
back of my neck TBH. Hopefully I'll catch Jonny's Skype talk with David 
Flanders from JISC tomorrow, and should drop Siobhan a note tomorrow.

I guess, perhaps we shouldn't say no, but I'll be surprised if what I've 
seen turns into a funded project. Deadline is 19/04, which is nuts.
I'm working on one JISC proposal at EDINA due the day after, and I've 
just had another one dumped on me to "nursemaid". *bangs head on desk 

any thoughts apprec, 	jo

On 28/03/2010 17:58, Jo Walsh wrote:
> I'd like to take a sounding on this, if anyone has time to think about
> it before tomorrow. In short, OKF has been encouraged by JISC to apply
> for its recent "Open Innovation" call, but needs an academic partner.
> I put out feelers in Edinburgh and ended up in a meeting about text
> mining research publications and researcher profiles, see below.
> The University has an internal deadline of Monday/Tuesday as only one
> proposal can go to this call. It's an interesting project but somewhat
> vague in its aims. The outcome would be a "demonstrator". OKF could join
> the proposal, but we would be bolted-on, it would take a bit of lateral
> thinking to make it "ours".
> Alternative would be to look for another academic partner, JISC could
> broker this, but the deadline is 19th April which is tight, and I am
> already committed to another JISC application so wouldn't be able to
> help much.
> PMR wrote "Anything that helps strengthen the OKF is good and the
> branding may be as important as the cash.". And of course the call is
> likely to be 10 or 20 to one oversubscribed.
> Any reflections on this would be much appreciated - I have to let them
> know first thing tomorrow, really.
> cheers,
> jo
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: notes from Open Innovation meeting (JISC call)
> Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 23:00:40 +0000
> From: Jo Walsh <jo at frot.org>
> To: Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>, Jonathan Gray
> <jonathan.gray at okfn.org>
> CC: Benjamin O'Steen <bosteen at gmail.com>, Peter Murray-Rust
> <pm286 at cam.ac.uk>, Nicola Osborne <nicola.osborne at ed.ac.uk>
> dear all,
> Went to a meeting this afternoon to discuss possible approach to JISC
> call 01/10 (open innovation/access to resources)
> Meeting with an eye to applying to the Open Innovation (business and
> community engagement) strand B of 01/10 JISC call. Problem that ERI, the
> Edinburgh Research and Innovation office, is restricting the University
> to one proposal. A one-page pitch has to be in by Monday/Tuesday.
> Fun mix of people - Andy Lawrence, astronomer from Virtual Observatory
> project, Philip Hunter, manager of Edinburgh Research Archive
> publications repository, Kate Byrne from Language Technology Group,
> Colin Adams, the Informatics Director of Commercialisation, plus Michael
> Fourman and colleague John Lee from IDEA Lab. Not in attendance but
> connected, James Toon of the ERIS repository network and Simon Bains
> from Edinburgh Digital Library.
> This group has met before, searching for a cause, there are several
> small funded collaborations between its members. There's *something*
> waiting to happen - text mining publications archive, connecting it to
> data archive, mapping research networks, reuse of "knowledge assets".
> I said OKF had been approached in a nonspecific way by JISC to
> participate in the call, we were scouting for an interesting project for
> Ben to get involved with, I'd pinged Michael to ask who else was looking
> at this call around U.Edin.
> There's mutual confusion about the rhetoric of the JISC call - vague
> aspirational language - it's not clear what is wanted, apart from
> material that will support JISC's own "impact statement"
> The key phrases near the end of the meeting for me were:
> "We do not do a good job of exposing this to non-academics"
> "If you could automate that, you could change the world".
> Bear in mind this is for a total pot of max 100K, out of which take FEC
> (overhead in the current academic financial accounting ideology) to
> leave max 60-70K. A "demonstrator" is all that is req'd by the call.
> By the end I was wondering about a local version of
> http://www.globalideasbank.org/ - say a localideasbank - trying to
> expose research to a wider world interested in the results (and prepared
> to participate or fund). Text mining of person, organisation, project,
> location references from the publications archive and from department
> and group pages, getting RDFa embedded where poss. A thrash at
> auto-summarisation with a "simplify this" button.,
> I wonder how meaningfully OKF could be involved in this group.
> We'd be a pleasant window-dressing, dissemination and consultation etc.
> But i saw no-one jumping up to do software development work and it's
> also uncertain where the project management lead would sit. Virtual
> Observatory have a grails-based platform that they would like to take
> further. The publications and data archives are both DSpace-based.
> Perhaps OKF's involvement stands or falls on whether Ben is interested
> in working on "boring old repositories" for one more cycle.
> So by Monday morning everyone in that meeting should send an email with
> either a paragraph or two on how they could be involved, or a polite
> note saying thanks but no thanks.
> Mon/Tues is the internal deadline and April 19th is the JISC deadline.
> Much work in terms of proposal preparation - ERI would help, but getting
> that help mean extra planning overhead. Someone to speak
> fluent JISC. If this proposal were to a) gel and b) make it through the
> ERI selection process, then the main risk would be getting the final
> application to JISC together in time.
> You should see my graph/map of JISC calls 14/09, 02/10, and 01/10. It is
> not pretty. The system sucks. Uncertain that I will have much time to
> work on putting this proposal together.
> cheers, (apols for late-night rambling, no time to send this tomorrow)
> jo
> Virtual Observatory PR:
> http://www.roe.ac.uk/roe/support/pr/pressreleases/050921-astrogrid/index.html
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