Announcement: UKOLN – Looking Ahead

An official announcement was published yesterday on the UKOLN home page:

Following nearly 20 years of supporting Jisc innovation activities, UKOLN is now looking ahead to new challenges. In response to the Wilson review of Jisc, the organisation has confirmed that it will only provide core funding to the UKOLN Innovation Support Centre, up to July 2013 but not beyond.

Since Jisc’s inception in 1993, UKOLN has worked collaboratively to support the development and use of digital libraries and digital information management in many innovative areas. The decision to cease funding in no way reflects on the contribution of UKOLN to this agenda for education and research, but rather the new ways in which Jisc innovation activity will need to be taken forward into the future. There will be more targeted innovation where Jisc works directly with its stakeholders and although the scale of activity will be reduced, there will be new innovation taking place in line with the changes in the environment.

During these years, UKOLN has established a substantive global reputation, and has led innovation work to develop information environments, repositories, resource discovery, metadata registries, metadata standards, collection level descriptions and software tools. We are currently supporting innovation in areas such as research information management, repository metadata and infrastructure, and resource discovery. We continue to support and facilitate communities of practice, notably Web managers and software developers working in higher education. UKOLN has also published the Ariadne Web journal since 1996.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people with whom we have worked closely, for your participation and engagement in our Innovation Support Centre activities. While the Innovation Support Centre will cease operating after July 2013, UKOLN will continue and as the organisation enters a new phase, it is a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved. We’d be interested to hear from you about how UKOLN’s work has made an impact. From August 2013, we will continue to build on this reputation and we very much look forward to working with you again in the future.

Dr Liz Lyon, Director UKOLN
Paul Walk, Deputy Director UKOLN

Note that a similar announcement has been published by CETIS. I think it is clear that 2013 will provide interesting challenges!

Merry Christmas.

View Twitter conversation from: [Topsy]


  1. Merry Christmas Brian!

  2. Was the web focus role specifically funded by JISC, and if so will that funding continue?

    No doubt this is all a bit of a downer coming just before Xmas, but I understand it’s been on the cards for a while. I hope you all have a good Xmas nevertheless.

    • The UK Web Focus funding became part of the core funding about 10 years ago! Although the core funding will cease on 31 July 2013 I am happy to reiterate the final comments in the announcement “[I will be] very much look forward to working with you again in the future” – although probably in a new guise.

      As Stephen Downes commented yesterdayto my mind UKOLN and CETIS have been two of the most important organizations in the world of online learning, period, and that should their funding be discontinued it would be a significant loss to the field“.

      Although the core funding has been lost the people will still exist and will be looking to continue to exploit their skills, their knowledge, their expertise and their passions.

      I am looking forward to Xmas – I hope you are too.



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