Education — 22 March 2017

What is the role of IT in helping improve University research?

After tuition fees, revenue from University research – whether from the central Government, private companies, or currently the EU – offers the second highest income to UK Universities. In fact, according to a recent report, research is worth £7.9bn a year to them.

With institutions including Cranfield University and University College London saying their investment in cloud tools has sped up and improved the accuracy of their research process, should IT leaders be pushing harder for cloud solutions such as Dropbox to facilitate greater research collaboration?

Christine Sexton, Former IT Director at the University of Sheffield would argue yes, and according to her, the cloud not only enables greater opportunities for internal research collaboration, but opens the door to a whole new network for Universities: “Research is a very collaborative thing, it’s not just about collaboration of research in our institution, but collaboration of researchers across multiple institutions”.

We caught up with Christine, David Telford – Director of Information Services and Edinburgh Napier University – and futurist Stefan Hyttfors at this year’s UCISA17 event to find out a little more. In this video they discuss the importance of research for UK Universities, and how the cloud can help create a more collaborative research workflow.

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