The critical intervention strategy of STELLARnet involves matching a need for long term integration via capacity building at a level of TEL research with an set of sustainable ”instruments” designed for that level. We have selected basic groups of instruments that will allow the building of research capacity at that level to match our objectives; and which can be sustained beyond the funding of the Network. The figure in Table 1 illustrates a set of capacity building and integration instruments that can operate to reduce fragmentation on four levels of TEL research.
The first group of STELLARnet instruments (Meeting of Minds and Podcast) aims at providing opportunities for national, European, International, governmental, institutional and industrial policy makers to point out grand challenges and share their prospective vision and strategic direction at the highest level (top-down).
The second group of STELLARnet instruments (Theme Teams, Incubator and Rendez-vous) aims at building a distributed Center of Excellence unifying the TEL scientific community to refine, tackle and inform on the TEL grand challenge activity.
The third group of STELLARnet instruments (Doctoral Consortium, Doctoral School, and the Scholarships) aims at expending the critical mass and the excellence of the TEL doctoral scientific community with future TEL faculty members and entrepreneurs able to work closely with the stakeholders outside the classical academic silos.
The fourth group of STELLARnet instruments (Community Channels, with and the Open Archive & Science 2.0 Mash-up) aims at ensuring the cross-fertilization between the policy makers, the scientific community and the stakeholders representing the all knowledge society (from the bottom up). Unlike the previous networks STELLARnet will aim to harmonize the views of the more technological and the more pedagogical communities. STELLARnet will provide a new “Science 2.0” platform to support research integration that will be sustained beyond its funded work. Its management and leadership will find a consensus in research strategy at each capacity layer, that has been missing in the field; and will bring in many new STELLARnet ‘Associate Partners’ into the work via its interconnected instruments. Indeed, we have reserved a portion of funding in our “integration fund” which is primarily aimed at connecting us with the community outside of STELLARnet. External beneficiaries of this integration funding will become ‘Associate Partners’ of the Network. We anticipate that this mechanism will allow us to extend our funding out significantly into European research centres who are well beyond our existing community.