The JISC Rapid Innovation strand is a collection of 41 projects designed to produce user centred innovation. The projects are funded for a maximum of 6 months and are using new or innovative technologies to explore user problems or user needs.

Rapid innovation strand

The JISC Rapid Innovation strand was a collection of 41 projects designed to produce user centred innovation. The projects were funded for a maximum of 6-months and used new or innovative technologies to explore user problems or user needs.

The Rapid Innovation projects (JISCRI) build on the previous success of community based projects working in short iterative cycles that embrace the small motivated team effort of developing solutions hand-in-hand with the end user. These projects have finished.

For a more detailed discussion of the rapid innovation approach see the why rapid innovation article from the JISC toolshed publication (see the what's next section for more information on the toolshed).

What was the aim of the strand?

There are 3 achievements JISCRI was designed to accomplish:
  1. a community of likeminded developers;
  2. testing new technologies for their suitability for education and research;
  3. genuinely useful prototypes that solve end user problems and answer their needs.

What did the projects produce?

The JISCRI projects built visionary tools for end users, the tools are intended to solve a real user problem, e.g. to scratch a particular itch that the user has to deal with on a regular basis.

Perhaps the best way to browse the projects is by the roles whose needs they were designed to address:

We have produced a linked map of the projects and their relationship to institutional rolesTag jiscri to discuss the projects online
An alphabetical list of the projects is available at the bottom of this page.

Who's involved?

The community that makes up JISCRI projects are mostly software developers. JISC has a support project called DevCSI that supports these developers by providing networking, training, showcasing and other community building activities. DevCSI activities are designed to continue to be useful to staff from rapid innovation projects even though the projects have finished.

What's next?

There are two key outcomes from these projects: useful tools and knowledge. We are now in the process of reviewing the strand to make sure the outcomes are extracted and communicated.

To highlight the useful tools and to help them get used by a wider audience, we have produced a newspaper called The JISC Toolshed to highlight some of the most useful tools that the projects have produced. We'll be handing out the Toolshed at JISC events but you can also download a pdf version (warning: the pdf is 22mb).

To address issues of uptake, embedding and sustainability we are finding selected projects to carry out some further work. Further details of this work will appear on this page soon.

The projects kept blogs recording achievements and issues, this was part of the reporting requirements but most projects went above and beyond the initial requirements and have produced a rich collection of knowledge. As part of the programme synthesis the knowledge from these blogs will be extracted and communicated in an appropriate way.

Where can I go to find out more?


  • Andrew McGregor, Programme Manager, Digital Infrastructure

    Telephone: +44 (0) 203 006 6067

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7989 356 452


    Fax: +44 (0) 207 240 5377

  • Balviar Notay, Programme Manager, Digital Infrastructure

    Telephone: +44 (0) 203 006 6053

    Mobile: +44 (0) 7891 544 023


    Fax: +44 (0) 207 240 5377