II.3.6. Building Impactful Digital Alliance
IDUB Programme Objective(s)
- II.3 Improving the capacity to cooperate by increasing research capabilities
Name of POB/activity group
Research on one of the key challenges of today – digital transformation – requires the use of innovative, interdisciplinary theoretical, methodological, and empirical approaches. In the social sciences, new, sophisticated research methodologies are being developed for analysing vast and unstructured data sets and to better triangulate quantitative and qualitative data. A major (and well-known) constraint on the development of research on digital transformation is the lack of access to data from the private and public sectors.
The aim of this activity is to create the IDA (Impactful Digital Alliance) – an innovative incubator for interdisciplinary research activities in the area of digital transformation, carried out at the University of Warsaw. The IDA will scale up the model of organisational and methodological support developed by DELab UW for researchers from various disciplines, with particular emphasis on those from the social sciences and humanities. DELab’s successes to date, in experimenting with innovative research methods and combining them with established methods in the social sciences, have demonstrated the importance of creating a research environment that links researchers from different disciplines – and which is non-hierarchical, flexible, oriented towards knowledge exchange and collaboration in the research community, and cross-linked with international partners – for nurturing scientific excellence.
The IDA will function as a platform for cooperation, to integrate researchers from the University of Warsaw who are studying aspects of digital transition into an environment for exchanging and sharing the latest knowledge. It will also be for transferring specific competencies in processing, analysing, and using data, and experimenting with new research methods. Research on digital transformation will be carried out in an environment that will itself become an example of good working practices in the field of digital transformation of universities, and the way research is done. The IDA will play an important role in building the data literacy and design competencies of the University’s academic staff.
The new model of cooperation between researchers will be based on the following:
- Sharing knowledge on new methodologies in working with data: from data acquisition, data processing, and analysis, to interpretation and visualisation;
- Creating space for experimenting with new data sources, new methods, and research tools – allowing for the advanced triangulation of quantitative and qualitative methods;
- Creating an environment that cooperates with the UW community, by enabling the acquisition of unique data on digital transformation processes from business partners and public institutions. Cooperation with business will also create opportunities to conduct organisational and evaluative research on the digital transformation. The IDA will use the existing cooperation networks of DELab UW, with partners like Google, the Network of Entrepreneurial Women, Digital University, the Future Industry Platform, and the Coalition for Polish Innovation (KPI).
The IDA will be geared towards promoting interdisciplinarity and scientific synergies among disciplines through the following:
- Increasing the awareness of young researchers about the scientific potential of UW, in the area of research on digital transformation.
- Inviting young researchers to participate in joint project initiatives in DELab.
- Creating networks and channels of communication between scientists and teams addressing research challenges in the area of digital transition within the UW and internationally.
- Creating access to the latest knowledge on digital research methods by organizing cyclical scientific seminars and knowledge sharing by members of DELab UW.
- Supporting researchers from various disciplines who are working with quantitative data (data acquisition, database building, data analysis and visualisation, and data narrative building); building and developing advanced data competence among social and humanities researchers.
- Substantive cooperation in building concepts for the digital transformation, by applying for research grants and implementing projects along with the University community; advice on seeking funding for innovative research.
- Providing support for the creation of interdisciplinary teams, promoting a new leadership culture and agile project work. Supporting interdisciplinary cooperation on scientific projects.
- Joint creation of a knowledge base and database (in the form of a repository), made available to the academic community of UW.
- Support in reaching out to key partners (from the private and public sectors) to obtain data and knowledge about the digital transition processes.
- Building a knowledge base on digital transformation projects in Poland and worldwide.
- Development of internationalisation through the use of international networks which researchers from DELab UW are already part of, active participation in international thematic and workshop seminars (on publications and projects). The IDA will focus on developing contacts with researchers in the area of the digital transition, from Central and Eastern Europe.
- Supporting dissemination activities, using the experience of DELab UW in communicating research results through reports, expert opinions, media presentations, podcasts, and social media presence.
The role of the IDA will be to provide comprehensive methodological and organisational support to any researcher from the University of Warsaw who is involved in research on digital issues – in particular, those surrounding digital transition and the use of digital methodologies. The cooperation envisioned under the IDA programme will bring a new skill set to non-hierarchical and flexible project work at the University; in a broader context, it will introduce methodological and organisational innovations.
- DELab UW
Entities involved in implementation
- DELab UW
- Faculty of Economic Sciences
- Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology
- All research units and teams at UW working on digital transition issues