What is Olnet? – open learning network – is a 3 year initiative backed by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. With $3m of funding it is a partnership between the OU and Carnegie Mellon University building on the experience that they have gained in developing and researching Open Educational Resources (OER). The Hewlett foundation that has invested more than $90m in establishing OER wants to find out more about benefits – what is the evidence? How should people learn with them? What issues does the community still need to solve? OLnet will develop a networked community of researchers and practitioners – offering them support, events and a chance to contribute evidence and questions. OER acts as a unifying theme that will generate sub-issues that need to be considered. Projects will carry out different streams of research looking at such things as design, collaborative learning and the developing world. Funded fellowships will bring in external expertise and offer a programme of exchanges and support for research ideas.