Brussels, 19 Jul 2005
Organisations from four EU countries have come together to form the Knowledge Exchange Network - a means to promote the use of information and communications technology (ICT) within research and higher education.
The focus of the initiative will be on the development of joint strategies and the identification of common or compatible best practices, the ultimate aim being to provide scientists and students with user-friendly systems that cross national boundaries and provide them with access to scientifically relevant information.
The four partners are: the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) from the UK, the Dutch SURF Foundation; Denmark's Electronic Research Library (DEF); and the German Research Foundation (DFG). Together they will seek to redesign the services provided to researchers.
The close cooperation is also intended to create a joint structure for digital learning, teaching and research including, for example, virtual research environments.
To qualify as a member of the network, organisations must be actively involved in the areas addressed by the Knowledge Exchange. Furthermore, they must have at their disposal resources that allow them to influence the ICT agenda at national level. It may be possible for other countries to join in the future if they meet these criteria. During the first year of the initiative, the current members will review activities in other European countries in order to ascertain whether there are any organisations that could potentially be admitted.
The network will be coordinated from a Knowledge Exchange Office, which will be located in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the first three years of the initiative. The office will begin operating during the summer.
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