Proposal for Consultation

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The proposal being made in this consultation is simple:

    •    that a university or college’s business and community engagement activities are no different in principle to its teaching and research activities; and therefore
    •    that it should be able to use its Janet connection(s) in pursuit of business and community engagement in exactly the same way as it uses Janet in its teaching and research missions.

The immediate implication of this is that that the Sponsored Connection scheme should not apply to business and community engagement activities, and that the time is now right to de-regulate this aspect of use of Janet.  It will not be possible to de-regulate it entirely, for the reasons set out later in this consultation, but the aim should be to move as far as is reasonably possible in this direction.

It is important to realise that de-regulation would not come “for free”.  Although it would remove much of the bureaucracy, constraints and charges associated with the licences, it would also place the management of policy, finance and risk squarely with the university or college concerned.  Some of these matters are explored below.  Although Janet can and will provide general advice, ultimately the university or college, and not Janet, will be accountable for the decisions it makes and any risks or liabilities that it accrues in making these decisions.