Monthly Archives: October 2012

Congratulations to our First Dragons’ Den Winners

NEMODE held a Dragons’ Den Workshop 23rd October 2012- 25th October 2012 at the Digital Economy All Hands Conference, Aberdeen.  The focus of the workshop was on New Business Models.

Congratulations to our winning business idea Mogees(Bruno Zamborlin & Aidan Sheridan)  who win £10,000

And our runners up who each win £3,000:

Dynamon (Angus Webb)
Evolved (Chris Paulson & Andras Sobester)
Satalia  (Daniel Hulme)



The diffusion of electric vehicles: step-change or mass transition?

Can the market for a new technology like electric vehicles grow and survive if it occurs a progressive, step- transition?  I will argue that the answer is NO, for the following reasons.

First, many other examples of successful technological innovations recently have not occurred as linear, slow incremental changes: they have been exponentially-growing, societal revolutions of the way people live and interact.  Very clear examples include the internet, smart mobile phones, the cloud, and so on.  If EVs are too slow on the uptake, and fail to be a “disruptive technology”, they will soon enough be outcompeted by alternative fuel technologies.

Second, a widespread adoption of EVs requires charging infrastructure that is interoperable and information systems that are standardised.  Setting up such an infrastructure cannot be done in a piecemeal fashion.  Rather, it requires large-scale coordination of developers and, potentially, considerable market power to impose one’s own standards.  If you are a member of one EV-charging scheme, and you are locked out from charging stations because of your exclusive contract with your provider, or the incompatible ID recognition software, you have all the reasons in the world to tell your friends *not* to buy an EV.  And user experiences are precisely what this industry relies on to grow.

So, a mixed fleet where a small percentage of drivers have an EV and others don’t, is not a likely viable scenario.  EVs cannot be expected to be perfect right away, yet for a consumer-driven market to materialize, they need to be ready to scale up.  The future will be all-electric – or not.

TED Talk on Trust

Recorded at TEDGlobal, Edinburgh, in June 2012, Rachel Botsman explains why the currency of the new economy is ‘trust’. Do you agree? Leave a comment below.

IT as a Utility Call

Call for Expression of Interest for ITaaU Network Plus Pilot Studies
Closing date for EoI: 17:00 on 12th November 2012

Applicants are invited to apply for shortpilot research study funding from the IT as a Utility Network+, set up as a priority challenge area by the RCUK Digital Economy Theme (DE). These pilot studies will be no longer than 6 months in duration and are intended to test new ideas or create novel linkages between research areas.
Please see the following documents for further details:

DE IT as a Utility Network – Pilot Call .pdf

DE IT as a Utility Network – Pilot Call .docx
For further information on the IT as a Utility Network+ – the Digital Economy theme and
Please contact Jeremy Frey or Sarah Milsted with any queries.

New Call from RCUK DE (NEMinDE)

The RCUK Digital Economy Theme (DET) wants, through its investments, to engage more with business schools and economics researchers who have been under-represented in existing grants. This need was highlighted by the recent DE Impact Review. To encourage new participants to participate quickly with the community, RCUK would like to promote engagement between existing investments e.g. digital economy hubs, networks and new researchers.

Up to £3.5 million has been earmarked for this call, which seeks to support cross disciplinary research as well as building links between groups and disciplines. This call is being commissioned in close partnership with ESRC. Given the multidisciplinary nature of the call, ESRC will be contributing up to £1M to the call and the DET will be contributing up to £2.5M towards the call. Subject to the quality of the submissions received, it is anticipated that we will fund up to five proposals. Grants funded under this call will provide funding to support a suite of related research and people-based activities, which should complement the work of the DET Network+ ‘New Economic Models in the Digital Economy’.

The deadline for proposal submission is 16:00 on 11 December 2012.

Please note: Anyone intending to submit a proposal to this call must register their interest by completing the ‘Intent to Submit a Full Proposal Form’ on the RCUK DE Page by 12:00 on 19 November 2012.

A pdf with more details can be found here: NEMinDE Call

You may wish to contact researchers already working in this area. The list of attendees from our Cambridge Workshop in July would be a good place to start. It can be downloaded here.

For more on what was discussed during the Cambridge Workshop, visit our Outputs Page.

New Forms of Urban Mobility

What do Oslo, Amsterdam, Paris, Oxford, San Francisco, and Houston have in common?  All have an electric-car-sharing program.  Urban mobility is taking on new forms with the introduction of small, eco-friendly vehicles at parking stations across cities available for a time- or distance-based subscription.  The concept is similar to a cell phone contract: for a monthly, annual, or in some cases daily or weekly fee, users can take out an EV and return it to any other station in the city after use.  This shift to mobility-as-a-service, or “servitization”, is the new trend in private transport, as the younger generation is changing its attitude towards driving.  Vehicle leasing is increasingly appearing as a more attractive option in cities than ownership of a vehicle.

Social merchandising is getting visual

In the fashion sector, recent innovations in social merchandising models draw on both the social and the media power of the internet to project products to customers’ social networks. In short, one can say that social merchandising is also getting visual. Read more…