Business and Community Engagement (BCE) using Janet

Besides teaching and research, institutions using Janet increasingly regard it as important to develop their business and community engagement activities – and Janet is ideally placed to support these requirements. Business and community engagement focuses on building partnerships with other organisations within public, private and third sectors in order to:

  • exchange knowledge between the institution and their partners with a view to improving the UK's economic and social prospects, and to
  • develop the UK's workforce in today's competitive markets.

As institutions seek to generate revenue from their Intellectual Property Rights, ranging from services to physical assets, their activities will have an increasingly commercial basis. This change of focus mirrors the increasingly commercial nature of teaching and research, already fully supported by Janet.

Janet is supporting these BCE aims through a significant liberalisation of policies regulating who can use the network and for what purpose.

The key change is that any institution with a Janet connection may decide itself how it uses Janet in this area. For example it may choose to pass on some of its own Janet bandwidth to a partner organisation, or use Janet when providing its own ICT services to a partner organisation. There will be no additional charge from Janet to the institution for the use of Janet bandwidth in these ways.

An institution wishing to take advantage of these opportunities will need to ensure that its decisions and their implementation are consistent with good commercial practice and comply with current regulations, particularly with respect to state aid and competition law. Some practical advice is available:

Janet is interested in any case studies from institutions responding to these changes, so that it may publish these for the benefit of others and if necessary update its guidance documents. Please contact Janet Service Desk if you have any items of interest and we will follow this up with you.