A group of universities collaborate on technical challenges within the Common Solutions Group (formerly the Stone Soup Group). What they say they do:
The Common Solutions Group (CSG) is a set of leading universities and mid-level networks working together to create a common infrastructure and toolset required for the future of our institutions.
Where feasible, these common solutions are provided by commercial providers under contract to the CSG universities. Where commercial solutions are infeasible, highly talented individuals from participating CSG universities are commissioned to provide them. The Common Solutions Group sponsors CSG projects, which provide these technology tracking and implementation functions,
A sense of their interests can be gleaned from the topics of their meetings. For example, in Winter 2003 they discussed deployment of web services on their campuses and decisions about buy, build or opensource.