I’m very much looking forward to travelling down to London next Tuesday 8th December to attend a one day conference entitled Connected nation: thriving in a digital world.
I have recently been appointed Chair of the Research Councils UK Digital Economy (DE) Theme Programme Advisory Board (PAB). I take over the role from Brian Collins, Professor of Engineering Policy and Director of the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures at University College London.
My appointment builds on previous work that I have conducted for the DE Theme. This includes: serving on the 12-person panel that conducted the 2012 impact review of the DE Theme investment; involvement in an additional stream of DE research undertaken under the banner of “digital personhood” (I helped identify the scope of the investment and served as a mentor at the sandpit meeting where project ideas were germinated); and reviewing grant proposals and other panel work. I was first appointed a member of the PAB in 2014.
The Research Councils UK Digital Economy (DE) theme supports research to realise the transformational impact of digital technologies on aspects of community life, cultural experiences, future society, and the economy.
Over the past couple of years I have enjoyed spending time with staff from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) on work associated with the DE theme. This all started two years ago when I was invited to join the 12-person panel that conducted the 2012 impact review of the DE Theme investment. Soon afterwards I became involved in an additional stream of DE research undertaken under the banner of “digital personhood”: I helped identify the scope of the investment; served as a mentor at the sandpit meeting where project ideas were germinated; and recently participated at the first digital personhood network meeting. I have also been involved in reviewing grant proposals and panel work for the DE theme.
In 2012 I was a member of the 12-person panel that reviewed the £130 million investment in Research Councils UK’s Digital Economy (DE) programme. The main remit of the panel was to consider the full range of DE projects funded to date. These ranged from doctoral studies based across UK universities, to the large collections of projects hosted at the three DE hubs: (1) Horizon at the University of Nottingham; (2) dot.rural at the University of Aberdeen; and (3) the social inclusion through the digital economy (SiDE) projects at the Universities of Newcastle and Dundee. The review panel’s findings are available in its report hosted on the EPSRC web site.
Last week I served as a mentor for the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council in Cheshire at a one-week sandpit event (a form of interactive workshop, and one that appears to have been misunderstood by Private Eye, as can be seen below). My fellow mentors were Professor Richard Harper of Microsoft Research in Cambridge, Professor Bruce Brown of the University of Brighton, and Professor Pete Edwards of the University of Aberdeen. Pete also served as the sandpit director. The aim of the sandpit was to stimulate thinking in promising new areas of the digital economy (DE) research theme.