Tony Fitzpatrick, University of Glasgow, 01387 345378
After a period of close collaboration with the teams of Dumfries & Galloway Council and NHS Dumfries & Galloway the testing times are over and the new web portal is open.
To create a visible and operational web based ‘front door’ to the Crichton Institute; a portal for data and intelligence capture, retention and dissemination and a vehicle for the identification of gaps in knowledge.
The RO will be utilised for data and intelligence capture. The Observatory’s inaugural project will see the establishment of a web-based portal for the collation and dissemination of demographic, spatial, socio-economic, environmental, health and other data of significance to the region. Over time this will facilitate identification of intelligence gaps, opportunities for research and knowledge exchange, and policy development requirements that are salient at regional, national and international levels and can be addressed by the Institute. Initially, this will be focussed at regional level but with engagement at South of Scotland level being pursued via the South of Scotland Alliance.
The RO will serve as an outlet for the other functions of the Institute, being developed as a web based open access point for the collection of data and the dissemination of information about the South of Scotland. It is the ‘eyes and ears’ of the Institute, helping to identify issues which may need further exploration, discussion, promotion or research and analysis.
Why the Observatory is important
Successful communities and regions tend to be those that are good at understanding, investigating and promoting both what they are good at and what they want to be better at. These regions are also effective in responding to the needs of their communities and businesses and better at projecting themselves at national and international levels.
Collaboration of agencies, communities, as well as regions is well developed across Europe and RO will also support links through the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of Europe (CPMR).
The Aims of the Observatory
Tony, until 2011, was Director of Economic Regeneration at Dumfries and Galloway Council and led the Council's Planning, Economic Development and Strategic Housing services. He was also a Community Planning advisor on the economy having led on compiling the South of Scotland Competitiveness and Regional Economic Strategies.