Business Modelling: Digital Content and Host Institutions Support Strategies


As leaders of digital content projects transition from start-up to ongoing operations, finding ongoing sources of support can often prove challenging. Many leaders find themselves relying on their host institution to provide many types of support, from in-kind contributions to direct financial support. It is clear that this support is vital to many projects. Less clear is how the institutions’ administrators decide to offer it.


The 2011/12 programme of work aims to research the techniques and strategies being deployed by grant-funded digital content project leaders in the higher education and cultural heritage sectors in eliciting support from institutional decision makers, and the practical and strategic concerns that determine what support institutions choose to offer.


  1. A scan of the landscape to understand institutional decision makers, what drives them and how they perceive the value of investing in these resources to deepen our understanding of the assumptions, expectations, and obligations that govern support of digital resources at universities, colleges, and cultural heritage institutions.
  2. Identify three partner institutions (representing research-focus, teaching-focus, and cultural heritage organizations) to gather data on perceptions and practices concerning host support of projects, deployed with the help of on-site Project Coordinators.

By conducting this research and sharing it broadly we hope to help project leaders to better understand and more effectively communicate the value of their work to their host institution, and to encourage a robust dialogue concerning sustainability among project leaders and the institutions that support them.

Final deliverables

  • To include a report, case studies, a tool kit and a facilitation guide for others wishing to conduct similar investigations at their institutions.
  • All deliverables will be made available in September 2012
  • Please contact Nancy Maron at Ithaka S+R ( for more information