Project team

Name Description Link


empirica is a research and consultancy organisation founded in 1988. The empirica communications and technology research group specialises in research and consultancy to clients in both private and public sectors in uses of new developments in information and telecommunications technology. The group has permanent staff from a range of disciplines, including geography, psychology, social and management science, engineering and informatics. The mix of qualifications and locations allows easy formation of interdisciplinary and international teams well tuned to the demands of a variety of projects and clients. empirica’s involvement in a number of international R&D projects and long standing co-operation with R&D teams and product management in key European and US companies allows it to stay at the leading edge of fast changing developments in technology and markets.

In TRANSFORM, empirica acts as coordinator. It is also responsible for development of indicators on transformative use of ICT, and contributes to all other work packages.

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The Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) is a multidisciplinary research centre with an international reputation for work on the economic and social development of cities and regions. Established in 1977, in 2003 CURDS became part of the University’s Institute for Policy and Practice (IPP). CURDS carries out a wide ranging programme of academically rigorous and policy relevant research for a variety of academic, government and private sponsors in the UK and Europe.

In TRANSFORM, CURDS is responsible for the state of the art review and for case study research. In addition, CURDS contributes to all other work packages.



eris@ was created in 1998 as an initiative by regional authorities within the EU based on the results and activities of the Inter-Regional Information Society Initiative (IRISI) and Regional Information Society Initiative (RISI) launched by the European Commission in 1995 and 1997 respectively. Whilst the 28 founding regions recognised that Regions compete with each other, they understood that Regions also have much to gain through co-operation and collaboration. Accordingly, eris@ was established as a not-for-profit organisation as a vehicle for the exchange of experience, the development and sharing of best practice, and for collaboration in the development of inter-regional applications and services.
At present, eris@ has 45 member Regions drawn from 13 Member States representing more than 30% of the European population. Membership of eris@ is open to all Regions within the EU and applicant states subject to approval of its General Assembly and payment of a modest annual subscription.

In TRANSFORM, eris@ is responsible for validation and exploitation, and contributes to all other work packages.


Professor Gareth Hughes (sub-contracted by empirica)

As freelance consultant he has undertaken various assignments for the European Commission and other clients, coordinated a number of inter-regional projects, and provided consultancy support to a number of regions. These have included his role as Member of the Expert Chamber of the eEurope Advisory Group and Rapporteur/Convenor of the Digital Divide Work Group

More recently, he is the CEO of eris@ and has been the Project Director of the IANIS and IANIS+ projects.
Recent work, often in association with eris@, has included authorship, co-authorship or editor of a number of Practitioner Guides targeted at policy-makers who want to advance the Information Society in their regions.

Prof. Hughes is responsible for policy recommendations and overall synthesis. It also contributes to all other work packages.

Martin Sokol

Dr Martin Sokol is an economic geographer whose primary research interests revolve around regional and urban development, knowledge economy and transformations in Eastern and Central Europe. He is particularly interested in the rise of the ‘new knowledge-based economy’ in the ‘West’, the fall of state-socialism in the ‘East’ and the implications of these two processes for social and spatial inequalities in the context of the ‘New Europe’. Martin’s work included research on the ‘knowledge economy’, 'learning regions' and ‘institutional thickness’ in the UK and East-Central Europe, the geography of telecommunications services and networks in Ireland and Slovakia, and knowledge-intensive financial and business services in globalising mega-city regions of north-western Europe.

In TRANSFORM, Martin contributes to all work packages, with a clear focus on adding the perspective of regions from the New Member States of Central and Eastern Europe.



Transform consortium

Part of the TRANSFORM consortium pictured at their fifth consortium meeting held in London, 3rd May 2007.