IWMW 2000: HERO: Higher Education and Research Opportunities

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  • HEROHigher Education and Research Opportunities

    Christopher HarrisExecutive DirectorHERO

  • Portal DefinitionsPortal definition; single point of useful,comprehensive, ubiquitous and integrated access. Community portal definition; a portal catering to specific communities of interest by providing tailored content.

  • The visionto be the primary Internet portal for higher education and academic research in the United Kingdomthe natural entry point for enquiries about UK higher education for the widest possible range of customers

  • Heros stakeholdersOrganisations which will benefit from such a portal include: universities, colleges and their representative bodiesResearch Councils and charitieskey HE agencies (UCAS, CSU, etc)HE funding bodies

  • Originsa project for the millenniumtoo many lights hidden under too many bushels

  • Project history (1)Scoping study conducted by SQW.Main conclusions:rationale is soundsite will add valuesite will have supportproposal is technically feasible

  • Project history (2)Development of a business plan (ArthurAndersen).main outcomes:business structurefinancial modelmarketing strategydraft ITT and contract with the operator

  • Project history (3)Development Consultants

    main outcomes:Procurement of operating company - EpicSetting up of limited company

  • Current StatusEpic appointed as operatorExecutive Director appointedHero Ltd being set upbranding and naming exercise completeddesign phase has begunOctober 2000: Site launched



  • Aims and objectivesshowcase site with state-of-the-art design, search and navigationhigh quality content promoting UK higher education and researchcontent model - zones of interestdisability and multi-lingual access

  • Some target audiencesprospective and current studentsteaching and research staffcontacts in industry and commerceoverseas users of all kindsthose interested in life-long learningpolicy-makers, funders and managersthe media and the public

  • Possible zonesnational/regional Studying - courses, learning and teaching, subjects, student interestsResearchBusiness - industry and knowledge transferHE community - policy and fundingCulture & Sport

  • Benefits to stakeholdershigher levels of interested visitorsshowcase content promoted by leading-edge

    site designextended marketing opportunitiesintelligent feedback about Heros users

  • Benefit to usershigher quality online experiencebetter navigation and intelligent searchingaccess to authoritative and quality-controlled information

  • Benefits to HEcreation of a powerful marketing channelnew platform for increased collaborationbetter understanding of customer needs and how to meet them

  • Funding and managementpump-priming funds initiallyreview in the second yearcompany limited by guarantee being set upcommercial activities would be carried out by a wholly-owned trading company.

  • General portal characteristicsSite structure plus navigation and search capabilitiesshowcase content (news and current achievements)structure database of pointers to participating sitesmajority of content held on institutions web-sites

  • Conclusionsto be a success Hero must be based on collaboration and consensusaim not to compete with existing web-sites but to add value to theminput from HE and the research community vital to the next stage