Industrial Relations in Plans for Research Computing

At a ‘Town Meeting’ looking to put the final touches to a Strategic Plan for the UK Research Computing Ecosystem, hosted by University College London on July 8, there was notable discussion about who the stakeholders are in the process.

Are users ‘first among equals’? Does it undermine the currency of this initiative if it is seen to be too close to industry when lobbying?

Lobbying is clearly an important part of the process to implement the Strategic Plan: the executive people that hold purse-strings need to be persuaded that this is a priority. So, can the Board that produced the plan collectively hit the right buttons with government ministers, industry executives and research funding decision-makers?

This question is going to be tested in quick time as a meeting is taking place at BIS with David Willetts on July 13 when the Strategic Plan is presented – what is more, at the request of the Government. Can the community hit the right buttons?

Searchlighter hopes that there is visible reference in the document on the role of industry as a stakeholder in any research computing ecosystem. We feel sure this will be a touchstone for the Government, but also that industry is a key ally in implementing the Plan

The lobbying process is sure to be vital as a means to ensure the resources are there to invest so that any computational ‘ecosystem’ sustains the quality of research that is crucial to the foundations of the UK economy.

Good luck to Peter Coveney and all his colleagues when he makes the case this week.


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