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Oxford U Teams with Ideate on Research Management Apps

Oxford University said it will be working with a new research management framework developed by Ideate. Oxford selected the company as its development partner to build a budgeting tool called the Costing and Pricing System, a successor to Resolve, a 20-year old legacy desktop application. The application will be rolled out university-wide.

According to Glenn Swafford, director of Research Services at Oxford, the system will be used to cost and price all research proposals involving grants and contracts to help his division calculate the full economic cost of each proposal. Full economic costing is a nationally required method of identifying true costs of a project for the Research Councils UK. The latter is a consortium of research councils intended to help them work together more effectively to enhance the overall impact and effectiveness of their research, training, and innovation activities. As a group, the seven members invest around £2.8 billion in research in the United Kingdom.

"The proof-of-concept work we did with Ideate has given us a lot of confidence that we can develop a system to meet the needs of Oxford's researchers and research administrators," said Swafford. "This will give us the opportunity to use state of the art technology, build live links with our finance and [human resources] systems, and meet new business requirements." If the technical evaluation continues to go well, he said, the university hopes to have the new system in place within 12 months of the start of the development process.

"Historically, the niche arena of research management has been under-served by software solutions due to the complexities of the research lifecycle," said company founder, Dave Duggal, in an e-mail. "Our company leverages modern Web 2.0 technologies and a patent pending service oriented framework (the first such platform in research administration) to deliver highly responsive and uniquely adaptable software applications, and addresses some of the fundamental underlying information architecture issues, while providing a compelling and intuitive user experience. Ideate is Research 2.0."

Ideate has adopted a cell-phone type subscription model, "that mitigates risk for research institutions by allowing them to flexibly scale their use up or down based on success and actual use--right sizing their investment as they go," Duggal said. Prices are based on blocks of 100 users. He said a 100-user multi-year account that includes unlimited use of all applications would be about $35,000 a year, including application maintenance, upgrades, and access to new applications. A larger institution with over 1,000 users on a multi-year account would be about $250,000 per year.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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