Engaging funders

Institutions and academics must engage with a range of stakeholders to communicate the value of their research. The success of the University of Southampton’s open data research programme goes back a dozen years to a £10m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Our case study helped Southampton and the EPSRC demonstrate far-reaching impact.

While data has long existed quietly at the heart of society, revealing where and how public money is spent, vast reams of information have remained untapped.

The open data movement – founded on the notion that the transparency of data can revolutionise the delivery of public services, the way we do business and how communities work together – has changed everything. Successive governments have recognised that greater openness in spending can cut waste and increase value for the taxpayer, especially in times of austerity.

The University of Southampton has led the charge towards a world where everyone will have access to their own data. It is responsible for the development of groundbreaking portal data.gov.uk and the establishment of the Open Data Institute. Its role at the vanguard of the open data movement can be traced directly back to a £10m grant from the EPSRC in 2000 for blue-sky research into advanced web technologies.

We were commissioned to tell this story for a dual audience. Southampton could show the EPSRC how it translated the original grant into positive economic and social benefits, while the EPSRC could demonstrate to the Treasury the success of its funding decisions.

We help academic institutions engage with stakeholders such as funding councils and industry sponsors to communicate the value of their research and secure further funding. We produce research magazines and impact case studies, marketing materials and annual reports.