Ultralab downsizing, I’m leaving Ultralab

I wrote to all of my contacts from my time at Ultralab, but I think I may have missed one or two. If that’s you, here’s what I sent out:

Dear [Firstname],

I am sending this email to friends, colleagues, work partners and
people I have had contact with over the last five years at Ultralab
(and before) – you are listed under my contacts as someone to keep
in touch with. If you have no idea why you got a copy of this email,
my sincere apologies, there may have been an error, so please disregard it!

You may have heard about the uncertain future of Ultralab in the
national media recently. Anglia Ruskin University has decided not to
continue Ultralab’s research and consultancy work and so I and most of
my colleagues have been made redundant. Ultralab closes as a physical
department within the University structure on 31st December 2006 after
nearly twenty years of ongoing success. The university is keeping some
of the Ultralab team, however, in order to continue to run some of the
larger money making projects which have been started. Thirteen
colleagues will stay on in the faculty of education to run Ultraversity
(http://www.ultraversity.net ), and a further few will work in the new
university centre for learning and teaching.

Far from being distraught about all of this (although it is undeniably
sad when you think of the outstanding work that has been done by the
Ultralab team over the last twenty years), the opportunity arises for
us to continue in a different way.

And on that thought, I would like to introduce you to ‘Cleveratom’.

I have been working with some colleagues to form a new company,
‘Cleveratom Ltd’ which will officially start ‘trading’ on January 3rd.
The company will focus on three core activities, including working with
schools, colleges and other educational establishments to look at how
ICT can be used to support and enhance learning. Building Schools of
the future will be a key part of the work that we do. Secondly, the
fantastic projects focussing on digital creativity will continue, with
several excellent events already lined up for 2007 (have a look at
http://www.digitalcreativity.org ). Thirdly, we will continue to work
to develop and deploy unique online community and social software,
building learning spaces for creativity, virtual learning environments
(VLEs) and more. The web site is at http://www.cleveratom.co.uk
although there is little more than a holding page there right now.

We are keen to further develop the work that we have been doing for the
last few years and would be delighted to talk with people who are
working in the same areas as we intend to, or have a brilliant idea
that they want to make a reality.

My contact details change with immediate effect (see below) and I would
be grateful if you could reply to my new address with your latest
details too… although you are probably enjoying a well-earned rest
and won’t get this until after next week. I am working on updating my
blog (http://www.halmaclean.co.uk ) and you can always keep in touch
with me there if you prefer.

I hope that you are enjoying the season’s festivities, and my very best
wishes to you for the New Year.

One thought on “Ultralab downsizing, I’m leaving Ultralab

  • 29 December, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Hi Hal,

    Very sorry to read your news. Not always a good time of the year for such an adjustment but I am sure you’ll take it in your stride and go forward stronger. Good luck and keep in touch. My thoughts are with you,


    Brian Millar

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