News story

Funding worth more than £15m announced

Fri 30th Mar, 2007

Second round of JISCís capital programme targets e-learning, repositories and preservation, and e-research.

Over 80 projects, totalling more than £15m of funding, have been successful in the latest round of JISCís capital programme, it was announced today.

The projects are being funded under e-learning, repositories and preservation, e-infrastructure, users and innovation, and e-research strands of the overarching programme, which represents an investment of some £90m over three years. The call for proposals was issued in September of last year, the second of three under the programme.

Among the e-learning projects to be funded are those that will explore administrative processes to support admissions and course validations and develop automated course descriptions. Other projects in this strand will look at further themes, including e-assessment, e-portfolios and personalised learning.

e-Research projects have as their focus community-based approaches to the further development of the national e-infrastructure, disciplinary differences and addressing the issue of the barriers to the wider adoption and take up of e-infrastructure services. The development of virtual research environments (VREs), which allow researchers to collaborate across institutional boundaries, will be supported through the funding of four further projects which will have important implications for researchers in a wide range of disciplines.

The new round of funding also sees the launch of the Users and Innovation programme. Central to the new programme is a Community of Practice, involving more than 50 institutions, which will allow more than 150 practitioners to share their thinking and collaborate on innovation to enrich the learning experience of students.

The heaviest investment in the current round of funding is being made in support of the establishment and development of institutional repositories. Nearly £5m is being awarded to more than 40 projects, including start up and enhancement projects, preservation activities, those building tools such as software, metadata, retrieval and text-mining tools, and projects building national infrastructure services.

The current round of funding follows the award of £5.5m last September and a range of other activities under the overarching capital programme, including: SuperJANET5, the upgrade to the JANET network (£27.6m); enhancements to the national e-infrastructure, including enhancements in the areas of access management, the National Grid Service and text mining (£3.6m); the establishment of 'The Depot', a repository which can host research outputs should institutions not have a repository in which to deposit (£0.5m), and collaborative activities with the Higher Education Academy in the area of e-learning (£2m). In addition, a further £12m was awarded to 16 new digitisation projects in January.

A third call for proposals, to be issued in April, will focus on e-learning, repositories and preservation and semantic services for e-infrastructure alongside a cross-programme call.

For details of the newly-funded projects, please go to: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/capital

For details of the newly-funded digitisation projects, please go to: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/digitisation_home.html

For further information, please contact Philip Pothen on 07887 564 006 or p.pothen@jisc.ac.uk