Interactions for Sustaining a UK Research Computing Ecosystem

There appears to be every prospect in the immediate future for real development to enhance the computing infrastructure that underpins research in the UK. This comes after several years of sound and detailed analysis showing why this is crucial, in documents like the RCUK’s ‘Review of e-Science’.

On 8 July, the Town Meeting – referred to in the previous “Industrial Relations in Plans for Research Computing” post – looked to put the final touches to a Strategic Plan for the UK Research Computing Ecosystem. It was very well attended, only underlining the urgency felt by researchers for this issue to move forward.

Before the Town Meeting, there were still inevitable questions. From Searchlighter’s point of view, one concerned the balance of the stakeholders declaring an interest in this issue being able to cover all the bases on what is required in any infrastructure of this kind. Is the engagement of a kind that the issue demands? (more…)

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? (more…)