Yeserday I found myself face to face with The 300.
300 Professors that is (more or less). And not exactly "face to face". Actually I found myself face to face with the paperwork that 300 Professors are capable of producing when bidding for large scale research funding. It was truly awesome.
A while back I agreed to sit on an EPSRC (research council) panel to evaluate bids to set up three new "Digital Economy Hubs" each of which will be given about £12m. The Hubs will exist for five years and involve hundreds of multidisciplinary researchers looking at all aspects of the digital world. In UK academy research terms £36m is BIG money.
What I had not fully appreciated was that BIG money would result in BIG documents, BIG names, BIG ideas. I don't think I have ever read so much paperwork. Staggering.
I can't say much about the outcome. I did wonder about the process though. Shouldn't a Digital Economy Hub bid be a bit more, well, digital?