Looking Back and Looking Forward

The Directed Assembly Network launched in October 2010. Our remit included gathering input from academic researchers across all relevant disciplines, from industry and from other end-users, which could be used to determine where the areas of excitement were in this field and draw up a roadmap of how research might progress. We were also tasked with enabling collaborative research by bringing people together to share knowledge and discuss areas of common interest.

We’ve now reached a turning point in our activities where, having run meetings for all our research themes and several cross-theme meetings, we’re writing up our strategy documents and preparing a bid for future funding. We want to change the Network’s focus from one of gathering strategic input to one of making that research happen. So, there are two tasks falling on the management team – to report on the success of our past activities and to develop plans for the future.

That’s where you, our Network Members, come in. We need your written feedback.

Since our launch we have ourselves organised 9 major community meetings attended by hundreds of participants in total, as well as participating in many other meetings organised by other groups. Through those events we’ve captured the thoughts of the community on research development to feed back to funders, but we also need to report on other metrics to show what we have achieved.

To help report on past activities, could you let us know:

  • What useful contacts did you make as a result of your attending a Directed Assembly Network meeting or through other Network activities?
  • Have those contacts progressed to a formal collaboration?
  • Have you submitted or are you preparing a proposal, whether to EPSRC or another funder, as a result of the Network’s activities?
  • Have you received any funding or other sponsorship as a result of the Network’s activities?

To help us plan our future strategy, could you let us know:

  • What did you as a participant gain from attending Directed Assembly meetings?
  • What activities would you like us to support in future?

We are intending to continue with running networking meetings, but also hope to push forward collaborative work by providing small travel grants, follow-on funding for shared technique development and pump-priming for larger projects. What else would you like to see?

Please send your thoughts to the Network Coordinator, Jenny Woods,