Other Users Needs

Increasingly, research and education networks (at national, regional and local level) connect not only researchers, teachers and students in research institutes, universities and other institutions of higher education, but also other kinds of users (in the public sector). This "greater inclusiveness" of research and education network infrastructure and services in Europe is a development of strategic value.

In SERENATE, a number of case studies have been produced to highlight these new types of users and their requirements, as well as the consequences of the greater inclusiveness for the organisation and operations of (national) research and education networks. Examples were schools at all levels of the education system, students at home, public libraries and museums, and government institutions.

It is now almost three years ago that those case studies were published. Not all types of users referred to above are served by (all) national research and education networks in Europe. Some new user groups have surfaced in the past three years. Some new types of user requirements have appeared. Therefore EARNEST has revisited this area. EARNEST has analysed in greater depth three user groups outside research and higher education, their needs and how national research and education network organisations respond to those needs:

Schools. A European overview has been written that looks into the service needs of schools, how they are connected and what the impact is on national research and education network organisations, but the overview focuses mostly on the actual use of network connectivity and services by teachers and pupils, and the pedagogical aspects. As such, the subject matter is described from the viewpoint of the schools rather than from the viewpoint of the research and education networking organisations. EARNEST has organised a Schools Workshop, where 24 stake holders met to discuss the issues related to ICT in schools.

Healthcare. A European overview has been produced that explains the different kinds of requirements of the healthcare community, both in terms of infrastructure and in terms of service. The overview looks into the current and future needs of the health sector, how healthcare institutions are connected and the services that research and education network organisations should focus on when connecting the health sector.

Arts, humanities and social sciences. A European overview has been produced on the basis of phone interviews with key people working in these fields and of information gathered by attending events of this community. Some examples of digital libraries, museums or archives have been added to the report.