In this paper we discuss our experience with the design, development and deployment of the
Virtual Research Environment.
makes use of Semantic Web technologies to create a platform to support multi-disciplinary research groups. This paper introduces the main semantic components of the system: a framework to capture the provenance of the research process, a collection of services to create and visualise metadata and a policy reasoning service. We also describe different approaches to support interaction between users and metadata within the VRE. We discuss the lessons learnt during the deployment process with three case study groups. Finally, we present our conclusions and future directions for exploration in terms of developing