Cloud computing, transforming the game in Europe?

Cloud computing has all the ingredients of a true revolution in the way business, governments and individuals handle information. Yet, contrary to most of the revolutions that preceded it, it lacks the ability to provide a real object that would symbolize it. The invention of the printing press produced books, then came automobiles, telephones, televisions, transistors, computers. All could be seen, touched and visualized. Cloud computing has to do with invisible flows (data) and processes because it is independent from the equipment and platforms it involves therefore it is much more difficult to describe, explain, and promote.
A perfect storm?

It is becoming clear that all organizations adopting (or considering to adopt) the cloud, whether public or private, acknowledge this technology as a tool for better management. In other words, cloud computing is not just regarded as a way to cut costs and access new resources and processes, but also as a transformative tool by which business strategies, business models, competition and innovation can be improved and qualitatively changed.

Europe, and the skills challenge

Identifying and mastering the most profitable aspects of cloud computing will require the development of specific skills at all levels of public and private organizations. Such skills will include for example the ability to think strategically across platforms, sectors and functions. It will also include a distinct capacity to identify new opportunities by which existing comparative advantages can be leveraged through cloud computing. This calls for innovative and curious minds that are able to spot relevant experiences from other firms, other sectors and other countries.

Can European businesses and public entities identify and mobilize such skills in the short run? If they do not already have them on board, how can they attract and keep them? How can private business, universities and governments cooperate to generate them? Thus are some of the questions that will need to be addressed rapidly, imaginatively and decisively if cloud computing is to fully play its role as a competitiveness booster and as a game changer in Europe, as it has started to do in other parts of the world.

By: Bruno Lanvin , Executive Director, eLab, INSEAD

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Academics do not have deep understanding of OA

Academics do not have a very deep understanding of open access (OA) publishing, according to a study carried out by the University of Nottingham which was discussed at Internet Librarian International by Willow Fuchs of the University’s Centre for Research Communications.

Chemists and economists at 11 UK institutions were surveyed to find out about their knowledge of OA, and to probe more deeply into why they do, or do not, make their work available on an OA basis. 130 responses were received.

The survey reveals a lack of awareness among certain respondents.

  • Only 64% of respondents were aware that their institutions had a repository – when in fact they all did.
  • 56% of respondents also said that their institutions did not have an OA mandate when in fact they did, suggesting that there is still some way to go to get academics’ beliefs and behaviours aligned with institutional policy.
The survey also asked why academics might – or might not – make their work available on an OA basis. The top reason cited by respondents was ‘because it improves accessibility to my work’. Citation advantage ranked in the middle, and the existence of mandates ranked at the bottom of respondents’ answers.

When asked why they did not make work available as OA, the most popular responses were ‘I need to publish in high impact journals’ or ‘it is too expensive’ – both cases, as Willow Fuchs pointed out, indicating that they are thinking about OA in terms of journals rather than repositories.

Recommendations arising from the research include changing incentive frameworks so that making work OA is rewarded and ensuring funder participation so that OA policies are re-emphasised and enforced, as well as advocacy among academics and a more top-down approach from institutional policy makers.

10 Ways To Beat The Job-Search Blues:

A recent survey of jobless Americans confirms what any unemployed person already knows: being out of work is depressing — very depressing. More than half of the 445 people surveyed between Oct. 19 and 25 in The New York Times/CBS News poll “said that they had experienced emotional or mental health problems like anxiety or depression because of their lack of work, and nearly half said that they had felt embarrassed or ashamed not to have jobs,”

According to Deborah L. Jacobs, from Forbes Staff, at times like this, you need every available resource and coping mechanism. Based on interviews with career coaches and recent e-mails — both from experts and job-hunters —there are 10 basic advices:

1. Join a support group.
2. Volunteer for a non-profit.
3. Project optimism (even if you have to fake it).
4. Take stock of your professional achievements.

5. Check how many people have viewed your profile on LinkedIn.

6. Make a list of the things you are thankful for.
7. Curb bad habits.
8. Build a virtual board of directors.
9. Schedule personal time.
10. Create a safety net.

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LLP Infoday 2012, 28 October, Brussels

Organised by the European Commission (Direction General Education and Culture) and the Education, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency, The Infoday 2012 wants to give useful information on the priorities of the 2012 call and what’s new to the programme. The event will also provide practical advice on the preparation and submission of proposals, and on the management of grants.

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Green Skills Forum

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and the OECD Local Economic and Employment Development Programme (LEED) are organising a joint Green Skills Forum to be held at OECD Headquarters in Paris on 27th February 2012.

The forum aims to draw on lessons from work conducted by the OECD, Cedefop, and other organisations on the implications of the green economy for skills development and training policies. These insights will contribute to the OECD’s Green Growth Strategy studies such as the LEED project on Measuring the Potential of Green Growth and to Cedefop’s Green Skills activities, which contribute to the European Commission’s initiative on New Skills for New Jobs.

Contributors are invited to submit proposals of a maximum 500 words to the conference organisers by 1 December 2011.

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Report on ICT Professionalism and Training Programmes for ICT Managers in Europe

In the context of the e-Skills and ICT Professionalism project, CEPIS and the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) have published a synthesis report on « State of play regarding ICT Professionalism and Training Programmes for ICT Managers in Europe”. The objective of the research initiative is to support the development of:

-a European Framework for ICT Professionalism with the goal of enhancing ICT professionalism and mobility across Europe,
-a European Training Programme for ICT managers to promote new competences with a view to better address the challenges of ICT driven innovation and the future Internet.

The European Commission Directorate General Enterprise and Industry launched the project « e-Skills and ICT Professionalism » with the aim of supporting the development of a European Framework for ICT Professionalism, and a European Training Programme for ICT Managers, with the goal of improving ICT professionalism and mobility across Europe. This synthesis report marks the halfway point of pioneering research which is due to be completed in January 2012 and also signifies the end of Phase I of the project.

Download the report

1st Berlin Symposium on Internet and Society

The 1st Berlin Symposium on Internet and Society: Exploring the Digital Future, will take place the 25-28 October 2011 in Berlin.

The event is looking forward to welcoming Internet & society scholars from all disciplines to exchange perspectives and deliberate about the best ways to research and shape the ransformation of our societies caused by networked information technology.

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Foundation of the Institute for Internet and Society

Hosted by three leading academic institutions in Germany, including Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin University of the Arts and the Social Science Research Center Berlin, and in close collaboration with the Hans-Bredow-Institute in Hamburg, the institute will bring together leading academics to engage in innovative research focusing on questions of Internet innovation, Internet policy, information and media law and global constitutionalism. The institute is meant as an enabling environment for an open debate and fruitful discussion of the many questions arising from the leading role that new technologies play in the context of the global information society.
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Discover the opportunities of the Game Industry at the Paris Game Week!

The sixth edition of the Paris Game Week will take place at Paris Expo Hall 3 from 21 to 25 October 2011.

The Games week is great place to discover the opportunities this dynamic industry offer as well as to learn about appropriate training to get a job such as game designer, 2D/3D designer, animator, programmer or community manager. The main training institutions (schools or universities) will welcome visitors in a dedicated area of the Paris Expo Hall 3.

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Skills shortage in the digital content and technology sector in Ireland

Dr Stephen Brennan, director of marketing and strategy at the Digital Hub, said at a skills seminar that jobseekers don’t demonstrate the soft skills needed in the digital content and technology sector.
Dr Brennan noted that “Everyone in the digital content and technology sector knows there’s a skills shortage in Ireland, with 2,500 unfilled jobs as a result. A major problem is we’re not producing enough graduates with the types of skills needed by enterprises in this sector,”. Regarding academic qualifications and technical expertise, he added that « The required skills-sets aren’t just based on academic qualifications and technical expertise. Employers are also looking for people who demonstrate creativity, flexibility, self-motivation and strong communications skills. The digital sector is generating new types of jobs in an emerging marketplace. And jobseekers must respond accordingly ».Brennan also mentioned a number of mistakes commonly made by jobseekers such as not including links to their online profiles on their CVs, not saying why they want to work for that business in particular, or not highlighting their relevant experience. « If you’re applying for a position in computer gaming, software development or animation, one of the first things the business-owner wants to see is samples of your existing work. So post a show-reel online and include a link to it in your CV » said Dr Brennan. (Source Siliconrepublic)

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