Jisc and Eduserv, two UK university and public sector digital resources charities, will join forces in January 2019. Jude Sheeran, chief executive officer of Eduserv, says the move will create a ‘true powerhouse of digital technology’ with greater power to negotiate deals and influence in government organisations.
The new organisation will offer technology advice to higher education, governmental departments and healthcare providers ‘without duplication of effort, time and money’, said Jisc head Paul Feldman. Overall, Jisc–Eduserv will serve more than 20 million users, covering the UK, as well as Australia and Scandinavia.
Jisc currently negotiates access plans for scientific journals and deals on IT infrastructure on behalf of the education and research sector. The organisation also runs Janet, a high-speed network for universities, and Zetoc, a database containing more than 55 million article citations and conference papers.
Eduserv focuses on digital transformations for local councils, charities, healthcare organisations and other public bodies, as well as universities. The charity provides software licensing and cloud support. Eduserv’s identity tool OpenAthens is used by four million users to remotely access digital resources.
For now, the organisations will keep their individual identities and websites, but plan to unite under the Jisc brand at a later stage. All of Jisc’s 620 and Eduserv’s 100 staff will be retained.