Scratchpads - Important Update

We are very pleased to announce the Natural History Museum's Informatics Group has hired two developers to help support the Scratchpads project. Ben Scott (who was instrumental in building versions 1 and 2 of Scratchpads) has been rehired as Informatics Group Technical Lead, after running the Museum's Data Portal project and a stint at Exeter University's Innovation Lab. He is joined by Paul Kiddle who has many years development experience in the Biotech world, for startups including Desktop Genetics.

This marks a vital step in the evolution of the Scratchpads project. Following the successful completion of ViBRANT and the departure of Simon Rycroft, who had expertly led the project from its earliest incarnation, Scratchpads endured an extended period of stasis. As many of our users have noted, this resulted in a severe degradation of service. For this, we wish to offer our sincerest apologies and our assurance that normal operations will soon be resumed.

Work has already commenced to stabilise the platform, to be completed in Spring 2018. This will include adding more server resources to improve platform performance. Once live, we will recommence accepting applications for new Scratchpad sites.

Following the successful completion of the stabilisation program, a long-term roadmap for the project will be developed. Our ambition is to source additional funding, to allow us to further develop the platform and support the Scratchpad community. However, in the absence of funding opportunities the Natural History Museum is committed to ensuring a the stability of the platform.

Vince Smith