ERIC - The ICT Cluster
The Eastern Region Information Cluster (ERIC) was set up in 2006. It brings together the ICT leads for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire and Essex consortiums, a representative from MENTER (the East of England Black and Minority Ethnic network) and the Regional ICT Champion. ERIC meetings are facilitated and chaired by i-TRUST and provide opportunities for members to share information and good practice in the field of ICT infrastructure support to the voluntary and community sector.
ERIC’s central role is to encourage more effective use of ICT and the inclusion of all sub-regional consortia promotes a more collaborative approach to working with technology. ERIC members work together to demystify the idea of ICT as a burden in terms of finance and time. ICT is a cross-cutting, organisational developmental issue. It impacts on an organisation’s ability, or not, to evaluate its performance and govern its activities. ERIC believes that the good use of ICT can enable voluntary and community organisations to better deliver services and help them achieve their mission and objectives effectively.
ERIC’s objectives are to:
- Maintain an up to date overview of developments and changes in the region
- Ensure and increase the efficient and sustainable use of resources
- Enable the VCS to obtain best value from ICT by acting as an exemplar and conduit for all new technologies available to the sector
- Improve efficiency and effectiveness by developing systems for sharing knowledge and good practice
- Contribute to the VCS workforce development by improving ICT Skills
- Promote inclusion and accessibility by using ICT to reduce social and economic barriers
- Help organisations to adapt to social and technological change and improve services to beneficiaries
- Promote awareness amongst funders and commissioners to recognise the benefits and value of new technology, ensuring full cost recovery.
ERIC and the Regional ICT Champion publish “It's Champion”, a quarterly newsletter which provides useful information about events, training sessions, technical updates, and signposts readers to further sources of information such as detailed articles and/or other ICT information portals. “It’s Champion” latest issue can be downloaded from ERIC’s website: www.icteast.org.uk