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  1. 1. The National Rural Knowledge Exchange: Can our colleges help fill ‘the ADAS Gap’?? (this may include academics and web technologies…) ALLCU conference 16 th July 2008
  2. 2. NRKE: a project which…. <ul><li>Is an HE partnership project (funded between 2004-2009) of 14 universities that also works with Landex Colleges members… which </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes best practice in Knowledge Transfer, -or as HEFCE suggest, -’we aim to make a difference in the capability of the sector…’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have run conferences and consultancy projects, but we specialise in web-based technologies…. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Regional Coverage We work with the English HE and FE sector to benefit rural businesses and communities. We also look at what is going on in the rest of the UK, -eg SAC, Aberystwyth and CAFRE , Northern Ireland…
  4. 4. Knowledge Transfer-what is it? <ul><li>Not core student teaching, not research.. Just everything else… </li></ul><ul><li>Working with (post-1 st qualification) adults, businesses, networks, special interest groups, ‘the community’ and public agencies. </li></ul><ul><li>For HEIs, ‘3 rd Mission’ after teaching and research </li></ul><ul><li>For FECs.. 2 nd mission? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Exchanging Rural Knowledge.. <ul><li>Where is this knowledge? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In people –mostly practitioners (and in a few academics). Particularly concentrated in specialist ‘clubs’… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In publications (some of them from academics) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where is it exchanged? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In people talking to people, -at meetings and Events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>AND, -in people reading things </li></ul></ul><ul><li>So we have set out to use the best ‘web 2’ technologies to : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 1:Put Britain’s rural organisations and their events ‘on the map’, to make it easy for organisations to get found, and promote events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 2:To put the best practical knowledge ‘on the web’, from academic and other specialist sources. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Phase 1: We have developed: National Rural ‘Who’s Who’ and ‘What’s On’ <ul><li>The National Rural Directory site at is currently an ‘organisations and their events’ website… </li></ul><ul><li>This allows users, -particularly Colleges, Clubs and Societies to list their events.. for cost-effective marketing and an easily findable web presence via Google etc… </li></ul><ul><li>Intended as a sector-wide resource.. Not quite Rural Facebook, but you get the idea.. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently free… </li></ul><ul><li>1500 organisations.. 120,000 hits a month and growing rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>Important point! … ‘Aggregation’ of a lot of events makes it much easier to find events via Google.. ‘Get found in a crowd’..on Page 1 of a return </li></ul>
  7. 13. How can your College get involved? <ul><li>We can set up an automated feed of your short courses and events into the Directory site if they are already on your website… ( ie ‘syndication’…via an RSS feed). </li></ul><ul><li>You can add or edit details about your own College, via a named contact </li></ul><ul><li>You can refer your students to the Directory site and see whether they wish to add their own clubs and societies (the technology transfer ones!) We do moderate all entries! </li></ul>
  8. 14. And technology transfer publications? <ul><li>Technology transfer publications online??? </li></ul><ul><li>Produced by our Colleges? (What would motivate our academics to do this? </li></ul><ul><li>Or, -sourced from elsewhere… </li></ul><ul><li>There are quite a few providers of useful technical information (as you know)… </li></ul><ul><li>(And have we all got to the point of withdrawing out-of date MAFF and ADAS technical materials??) </li></ul>
  9. 18. Practitioners BBSRC Research Institutes Are Research Priorities right? Consultants Individual clients Clubs and Societies Landex Colleges Academic Journals Trade Press Product sales licensing The Rural Knowledge Supply Chain…. Academic conferences Open Days Shows Talks, meetings Technical conferences Skills & business training Graduates RDA s Bus Link DEFRA RDPE Talking to friends Suppliers ‘Push’ knowledge via Web, ie into.. Practitioners ‘Pull’ knowledge via email, browsing etc National Rural ‘What's On’ and Technical ‘Landbased Library’ Universities & their Rural Departments LANTRA Levy Bodies EBLEX MDC HGCA HDC BPC PLCs ADAS RASE RAC HAUC N’cstle Reading Notts Sparsholt Walford Aventis BASF Merial etc
  10. 19. JISC interest….1 <ul><li>There is currently a JISC Invitation to tender… </li></ul><ul><li>Study on the availability of UK academic “grey literature” to UK SMEs </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ Summary   of tender requirements </li></ul><ul><li>The JISC Scholarly Communications Working Group wishes to study the availability of UK academic “grey literature” to UK small and medium-sized enterprises. The study will focus upon a selection of SMEs with ……….etc.” </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Grey literature’ is focused on scholarly activity publishing, not peer reviewed journals….ie ‘useful stuff’… factsheets, technical notes, spinoffs from teaching materials etc </li></ul><ul><li>-The sorts of materials our academics produce, in fact.. </li></ul>
  11. 20. JISC interest….2 <ul><li>Over the last 2 or 3 years there has been a focus on the establishment of Institutional Repositories.. Largely of research papers… based around open source products like Eprints and Dspace. </li></ul><ul><li>But…. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our Colleges do very little research… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In aggregating all our staff together we would constitute a medium sized university. (Each college is about the size of a university department). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We can’t afford a repository each.. And also Google wouldn’t find small repositories, as Google looks at large well-connected sites first… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a strong case for us to have a single sectoral repository, using a common taxonomy, and the very latest technologies i.e. developed in a Web 2.0 fashion, and fully online, ‘legacy-free’.. And not open-source, but designed for what we want… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>That is what we are proposing.. But with a specific focus on technology transfer materials in the first instance… tentatively called ‘the Landbased Library’ .. Possibly ‘plugging the ADAS Gap’? </li></ul>
  12. 21. Stage of development 1 <ul><li>Sourcing content… Most important! (most repositories are empty..) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Achieved by opening the repository/online library to all suppliers of technical materials, -including commercial providers working with a ‘validating’ academic institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We have visited all the levy bodies, the Forestry Commission etc and they are supportive. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding will also be needed from College or other sources to get our academics to produce materials…. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reaching businesses and organisations over the web (-and using our students as ‘vectors of viral marketing’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Starting with a core of technical materials, to develop web 2 features such as reviewer comments, star ratings, ‘my shopping basket’ etc… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ebay type interface, -browse a strong feature.. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Involvement of your college is a marketing statement.. ‘this is the business we are in’…. –i.e. providing technical support to the rural economy.’ </li></ul><ul><li>This proposal has gone to all College Principals via the Landex Board. </li></ul><ul><li>Bid for additional funding to DIUS likely in September. </li></ul>
  13. 22. BBSRC Research Institutes Landex Colleges e.g.…. So, the online Landbased Library could involve the following… RDA s Bus Link RDPE ‘Sainsbury’ DEFRA The online 'Land-based Library' and ‘What's On’ Universities & their Rural Departments Levy Bodies Individual practitioners Creation of new materials, or provision of existing materials Technical team runs online facility Possible editorial subject leads: Crops Livestock Environment Health Policy Business etc Clubs and Societies Students Additional funding? Syndicated to University and Landex websites Other information suppliers Users Practitioners and students ‘pull’ knowledge via browsing , email alerts etc Walford Duchy Sparsholt RAC Harper Writtle NTU Reading Hadlow KM Bishop Moulton An ‘Information Alliance‘ of contributing organisations FWAG Natural England JISC MLC HDC MDC HGCA BPC PLCs
  14. 23. Stage of development 2 <ul><li>Sourcing software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faced with the opportunity of designing an online repository with Web 2 features is not straightforward! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently have a shortlist of 3 suppliers, but invitation to tender not yet issued.. Likely in September. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you could have the design and search interface that you want… what features would you include..?? </li></ul>
  15. 26. Browse by subject eg: Crops (136) Livestock (297) Equine (322) Browse by Collection eg: HGCA (64) Harper (28) Writtle (35)
  16. 27. Not a conventional repository <ul><li>Conventional: </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed at students and researchers.. </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation often a major aim </li></ul><ul><li>Uses existing materials </li></ul><ul><li>Open Source software with some local adaptation </li></ul><ul><li>Interfaces with OPAC legacy </li></ul><ul><li>Research papers and scanned objects predominate </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional focus </li></ul><ul><li>This proposal: </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed at business </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation an offshoot </li></ul><ul><li>Has ‘publishing house’ aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Built for web 2 optimisation and bespoke, not Open Source. </li></ul><ul><li>Interfaces drawn from commercial web 2 sites </li></ul><ul><li>May expand to include research papers and summaries of student work </li></ul><ul><li>Sector focus </li></ul>
  17. 28. Relevant repositories…. <ul><li>You Tube </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Slideshare </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  18. 29. So, -an opportunity! <ul><li>We welcome your involvement </li></ul><ul><li>We have enough funding to develop the first version </li></ul><ul><li>Future funding sources will probably involve JISC, and a number of other sources including DIUS </li></ul><ul><li>Future funding will depend on a number of institutions collaborating </li></ul><ul><li>Please contact us if you would like to be involved.. Contact details on back of the handout… </li></ul>