Programme Brief

Note: The master copy of this document is in word - the contents have been copied to this page.  ST 08/06/17



Internet of Things (IoT) Programme Brief.


Document Version: v1.0


Date: 15/05/2017



1.     Document control

1.1     Contributors

1.2     Document Sign-off

1.3     Version control

2.     Introduction

2.1     Purpose of this document

2.2     Background to the Programme

2.3     Approach

2.4     Related Documents

3.     Programme Definition

3.1     IoT Strategy

3.2     Scope

3.3     Objectives

3.4     Benefits

3.5     Success Criteria

3.6     Alignment with University Strategic Vision

3.7     Budget

3.8     Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies

3.9     Constraints

3.10       Reporting and Communication

4.     Impact

4.1     Digital Transformation

5.     Organisation

5.1     Programme board

5.2     Other Programme team members

5.3     Stakeholders




1.       Document control

1.1         Contributors



Steve Taylor, Programme Manager, ISG

Programme Manager

Ewan Klein, Professor of Language Technology, Informatics

Programme Sponsor and Programme Board chair

 David Richardson, Director of Partnerships (Data Science), Informatics

Board member

Simon Chapple, Data Scientist, ISG Directors Office

Senior Data Technologist

1.2         Document Sign-off



Date signed off

Ewan Klein, Professor of Language Technology, Informatics

Programme Sponsor and Programme Board chair


Tony Weir, Director of IT Infrastructure, ISG

Board member


David Richardson, Director of Partnerships (Data Science), Informatics

Board member


Chris Speed, Programme Director, Design Informatics

Board member


Rob Baxter, EPCC Group Manager

Board member


Paul Patras

Board Member


1.3         Version control







Approved v1.0

Steve Taylor




Draft v0.2h – updates  following first board meeting.

Steve Taylor




Draft v0.2f – updates following first round of feedback.

Steve Taylor

2.2 Background. 3.3 Objectives 3.8 RAID 3.10 Reporting & Communication



Draft v0.2e – First draft for IoT Programme Board review.

Steve Taylor




2.       Introduction

2.1         Purpose of this document

The purpose of the Programme Brief is to:

  • Define the Programme and establish the basis for its management together with a framework for assessing its success.
  • Ensure that the Programme has a sound and agreed basis before asking the Programme Board to make any major commitment to the Programme.

In the remainder of this document, we will use the term IoT infrastructure to cover the hardware that deals with data capture (e.g., sensors, gateways); any other components of the physical network layer including servers and cabling; and the software infrastructure for handling data communication, encryption, security, processing, analytics, visualisation, storage and querying.

2.2         Background to the Programme

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cluster of technologies spanning hardware devices, networking, data collection and data applications. It allows any ‘thing’ to be connected to the internet.  This initiative is inclusive and seeks to bring together all areas of the University to drive the maximum impact from use of IoT technologies, with initial activity spearheaded by Information Services and supported by Corporate Services and the School of Informatics. The University of Edinburgh IoT Programme is being established to enable the University to develop and maintain a world-class IoT research activity which attracts students, collaborating institutions and industrial partners from across the world.  This will be achieved by executing the University’s IoT strategy, an extract of which is included in section 3.1 for reference.

The Programme will consider activity between June 2017 and January 2019 although given the potential impact of IoT technologies, we expect this Programme may extend beyond this initial Programme duration. A review point to consider this will be set for June 2018.

2.3         Approach

Since the Programme is still at the initiation stage, its scope cannot yet be defined in detail. The specific reasons for this include:

  • The research aspect of the Programme;
  • the pilot / proof-of-concept nature of the projects being developed as we consider, deploy, and test new technologies and new applications of IoT;
  • as yet unconfirmed funding sources and levels at Programme initiation; and
  • as yet unconfirmed partnerships at Programme initiation.

Consequently, the scope defined later in this document is very high level.  A roadmap will be developed and maintained throughout the life of the Programme to identify and track projects, Programme objectives, key Programme deliverables, and KPIs that develop over time. 

This Programme Brief, along with the Roadmap, will act as the base documents against which the Programme Board can assess progress and review management issues, on-going viability and overall strategy.

The Roadmap will be formally reviewed and published every three months.

2.4         Related Documents

This document is complemented by the following related documents:

  • IoT Strategy

3.       Programme Definition

3.1         IoT Strategy

The University’s IoT Strategy involves developing a shared IoT infrastructure within the Edinburgh Region that enables new forms of research, teaching, innovation and supports new collaborative initiatives with a range of internal and external partners, including start-ups, SMEs and corporates.

The main goals of the IoT strategy are:

  • To enable and support world-class research, teaching and innovation through the development and use of IoT infrastructure and technology
  • To promote Edinburgh as a world-leading ‘Living Lab’ for proof of concepts with the potential to generate significant social, commercial and/or academic value
  • To help enable the University’ to capture and generate value from the application and use of IoT technologies in future service delivery and operations

For more detail regarding the IoT strategy, see the IoT Strategy document.

3.2         Scope

3.2.1        In Scope

Given the new application of technologies and the research approach within this Programme, this brief will define high level scope for the Programme.

The scope of this Programme is to:

  • establish an appropriate governance structure;
  • develop a shared IoT infrastructure;
  • promote visibility, awareness, and use of IoT infrastructure;
  • encourage and support IoT research:
  • establish partnerships and coalitions which benefit from and extend the value of the infrastructure;
  • support teaching and learning; and
  • establish routes to sustainable funding.

3.2.2        Out of Scope

Since we are exploring a proof-of-concept infrastructure, we are intentionally not committing to a particular network provider at this stage.

3.3         Objectives

The Programme will pursue the following objectives, listed in expected order of work commencement

  1. Develop a governance structure for directing and managing the Programme which is tasked with protecting privacy and ensuring ethical use of the data.
  2. Set up an initial IoT innovation infrastructure within the city of Edinburgh that allows us to capture, manage, analyse, visualise and store real-time data from a large number of sensors.
  3. Develop solutions for internal operational use of IoT within the University and thereby demonstrate the effective use of IoT in a complex environment and at scale.
  4. Pursue funding opportunities from both internal and external funding sources to enable and support the other objectives within the Programme.
  5. Deploy and promote the IoT infrastructure so as to support research, development, innovation and teaching with a range of partners both inside and outside the University, including SMEs and industry.
  6. Engage, establish partnerships, and connect with third parties with the aim of extending the reach and value of the University’s IoT infrastructure.
  7. Provide IoT resources to support teaching and learning opportunities within the University, as well as an effective IoT learning environment accessible to distance learners.
  8. Establish an IoT outreach Programme for young people with the goal of extending our learning reach to school-age students in Edinburgh and elsewhere in Scotland.
  9. Transform the University into a living laboratory for IoT in which our students have maximum opportunity to participate, whilst respecting privacy, ethics, and Programme-specific governance requirements.
  10. Contribute additional social and economic value to the city region by encouraging new start-up activity; establishing an IoT Accelerator; and supporting industry and public sector bodies in the use, development and testing of IoT-related technologies.

3.4         Benefits

We expect the following benefits to accrue from pursuing the objectives listed above.

  • The University of Edinburgh will be established as an international leader in the development and use of IoT technologies and their application.This will attract new students, new research and researchers, and facilitate both existing and new relationships with important strategic partners.
  • We will create new social and economic value to Edinburgh and more broadly Scotland.
  • IoT projects will provide the University with opportunities to make more effective use of resources, approach its sustainability goals, enhance student and staff satisfaction and improve general operational efficiency.

3.5         Success Criteria

Specific deliverables to support the Programme objectives and the measurements for the success of these including KPIs will be defined and tracked in the Programme Roadmap document.

3.6         Alignment with University Strategic Vision

The objectives of the IoT Programme reflect those defined in the IoT strategy, which in turn reflects the University’s key strategic elements:

  • Influencing globally
  • Contributing locally
  • Partnerships with industry
  • Digital transformation and data

  For detail regarding these points, please see the IoT Strategy document.

3.7         Budget

Initial costs for Data Scientist/Architect, Programme Manager and pilot project equipment and effort are being funded by IS IT Infrastructure Division.

Programme Sponsor, Programme Board, and Stakeholder involvement is covered by core funding.

Additional budget cover will be obtained through further internal and external funding, which is one of the objectives of the Programme.

3.8         Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies

3.8.1        Risks

  • Executives, Programme Board, or Stakeholders, become disengaged and\or fail to support the Programme.
  • Conflict between Programme board or stakeholders disrupts the Programme.
  • Unexpected learning curves for new technology delays Programme schedule.
  • Unexpected security related issues with IoT technology delays the Programme or prevents anticipated deployments.
  • Levels of interest in IoT in the Edinburgh region do not match expectations.
  • The Programme has a reliance on key individuals and there is a risk that limited availability of these individuals could delay progress.
  • There is a risk of reputational damage from mis-reporting in the media regarding the deployment and use of IoT sensors.

Risks will be tracked and managed via the Programme risk log going forward.

3.8.2        Assumptions

We make the following assumptions:

  • The mandate to take forward this Programme of work is secure.
  • The Programme will operate within existing University policies and these are currently not a barrier to adoption and rollout of IoT technology; as required, proposals to amends appropriate University policies will be taken forward to recognise specific characteristics or implications of IoT technologies.
  • Sufficient funding will be sourced for the Programme to support its objectives.
  • Sufficient and suitable partnerships will be established to support Programme objectives.
  • Sufficient project team, or other team, resources will be available to meet Programme objectives.
  • New GDPR data protection legislation will not prevent Programme objectives being met, or cause unexpected delays to the Programme schedule.
  • Privacy or security concerns, risks, or issues will not prevent Programme objectives being met, or cause unexpected delays to the Programme schedule.

3.8.3        Issues

No specific Programme-level issues have been identified at initiation stage. These will be tracked and managed via the Programme issue log going forward.

3.8.4        Dependencies

No specific Programme dependencies identified at initiation stage. These will be tracked and managed via the Programme roadmap going forward.

3.9         Constraints

Constraints on the Programme are set by:

  • current and pending Data Protection legislation; and
  • available funding levels.

3.10      Reporting and Communication

The Programme reporting plan will adhere to the following schedule:

  • quarterly status reports for Digital Research Services Steering Group (the DRSSG in turn reports up via the IT Committee to the Knowledge Strategy Committee);
  • monthly Programme reports on the UoE Projects Website or on SharePoint if needed, to be shared with Programme Board and Stakeholders; and
  • ISG managed projects will produce monthly project reports on the UoE Projects Website.
  • public-facing information and updates will be disseminated via

4.       Impact

4.1         Digital Transformation

IoT is already contributing to the massive increase in the volume of data being generated daily, and the challenge of extracting value from ‘big data’ is fundamental to several existing initiatives in the University. By embracing the whole value chain of IoT, we will contribute not only to the technically-defined research goals of data science, but also to issues which straddle the interface between technical and social. By committing to an open infrastructure, we can contribute not only to the technical aspects of IoT deployments, but also to new models of governance which engage with concerns about privacy, surveillance and the scope of democratic control over rapidly accelerating digital transformation.

5.       Organisation

5.1         Programme board



Division / Group / Team / College /School and Title

Programme Sponsor / Programme Board Chair

Ewan Klein

Professor of Language Technology, School of Informatics

Programme Board member

Tony Weir

Director of IT Infrastructure

Programme Board member

David Richardson

Director of Partnerships (Data Science), School of Informatics

Programme Board member

Chris Speed

Programme Director, Design Informatics

Programme Board member

Rob Baxter

EPCC Group Manager

Programme Board member

Paul Patras

Lecturer and Chancellor's Fellow, School of Informatics

5.2         Other Programme team members



Division / Group / Team / College /School and Title

Programme Manager

Steve Taylor

Programme / Project Manager, ISG

Senior Data Technologist

Simon Chapple

ISG Director’s Office

5.3         Stakeholders


Title and Division / Group / Team / College /School

Nora Kellock

Snr Solicitor, Legal services

Nicky Day

Solicitor, Legal Services

Kevin Collins

Assistant Principal Industry Engagement.

John Thompson

Professor of Signal Processing and Communications, School of Engineering

Grant Fergusson

Deputy Director, Estates and Buildings

John Oberlander

Assistant Principal for Data Technology / Professor of Epistemics

Alistair Fenemore

Chief Information Security Officer

Ritchie Somerville

Innovation and Futures Manager, City of Edinburgh Council

Rena Getz

Data Protection Officer