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  • New Suggestions for Grand Challenges

    The present set of Grand Challenges was developed after an extensive exercise organised by the UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC). Many suggestions were made, and the final list emerged through assessment against a set of criteria, workshop discussion, merging of similar proposals, etc.

    There is no presumption that the existing set limits the possibilities. But many factors have to be considered in converting a long-term research aspiration into a credible GC proposal. The best way of seeing what is involved in a Grand Challenge proposal is to checking the UKCRC's main GC Website, including the links to current GC proposals. In particular, the pages on background and criteria for maturity list many properties that a GC proposal should have; they are essential reading for someone putting a new idea forward. In addition, for each each new idea it should be made clear either that it is clearly distinct from existing proposals, or that it relates to one of them in a significant way.

    We encourage new ideas about GCs to be addressed to UKCRC, via the GC Steering Committee, as a natural first step. (This does not imply that UKCRC is a GC funding agency, or that GC activities independent of UKCRC are impossible.) It is not sensible to seek an elaborate document in the first instance. The Steering Committee sees the first step as a suggestion: a lightweight document designed both to indicate a potential topic and advertise for interested support. With the Steering Committee's encouragement the new suggestion can be posted on the GC website.

    It should be a 1000-1500 word document covering

    1. what the idea is;
    2. how it meets the maturity criteria;
    3. how it is related to or distinct from the existing set;
    4. who the proposers and the potential interested community are;
    5. what actions they envisage to discuss and build on the suggestion.

    It should be sent to the GC Steering Committee giving a contact name and email address. Please use pdf or doc format, or plain text.

    Developing a Suggestion into a Proposal

    The UKCRC, through the GC Steering Committee, is not in the business of making judgements on ideas about GCs. However it aims to lend assistance, as it has in the past, in advancing an initial suggestion. If the suggestion is distinct from existing GCs then this advance would be towards a proposal on which a community can build networks, workshops and research projects; if on the other hand it relates to an existing GC then the advance may take the from of a merger with, or development of, the existing GC proposal. One important mechanism for advancing a proposal is through UK conferences: the six current GC proposals emerged from suggestions discussed at the Grand Challenges Workshop held in Edinburgh in 2002.

    © UK Computing Research Committee 2009