In a world where many research challenges are too big for a single institution to tackle - and the best facilities attract the best researchers - institutions must collaborate in order to remain competitive.
What you can do
Digital technologies enable researchers to collaborate in cross-disciplinary, international teams by sharing resources such as data, computing power and software over the internet.
Set up Virtual Research Environments
Virtual research environments (VREs) improve communication especially within international teams. Our sister organisation in the Netherlands, SURF, with whom we share information on VREdevelopment, has recently produced a starter-kit covering issues such as the functions a VRE should offer and how to go about setting one up.
Break down location barriers by videoconferencing
Research teams spread over sites, or even continents, can hold virtual face- to-face meetings using video-conferencing. Janet’s Access Grid is a video-conferencing facility that allows participants to work simultaneously on common tasks, such as the annotation of a document
Transfer data easily
Some research requires the transfer of vast amounts of data from one site to another. Janet Lightpath, for example, does this while avoiding disruption to the main network. Connections with similar point-to-point networks in other countries enable UK researchers to work on major international projects.
Pool your resources
The National e-Infrastructure Service gives researchers access to pooled computational resources, such as computing power, data and software, from their own desktops. It also joins up with national and international supercomputers and other computing grids.