Category / Business Engagement

AI & Robotics Sandpit: 24/5/17 – 14:30-17:00

A Sandpit focused on “AI & Robotics”  will take place immediately following the Royal Society visit to BU on 24/5/17 – 14:30-17:00.

Speakers will include Vicky Isley and Paul Smith (boredomresearch). They will present a new vision for technological innovation, one that embraces emotion in a-life systems and recognises the fragility of their sustaining environment. boredomresearch will discuss their collaboration with the Artificial Life Lab (Karl Franzens University, Graz Austria), who are employing bio-inspired robots to provide solutions operating in human polluted environments.

So, is this just networking?

Definitely not! It is a facilitated session with the primary intention of developing innovative research ideas, which also enables the development of networks. It gives you the opportunity to explore research ideas which you may develop over time, together with the chance to find common ground with academics from across BU and beyond.

Which means…?

We’re seeking to come up with novel research that could part of a proposal to funding streams such as the Royal Society or the Industrial Challenge Fund that will focus on “AI” and/or “Robotics”.

So, who should attend?

We want anyone who thinks they might have something to contribute. We will also be inviting relevant external attendees to contribute to the day.

What do I need to prepare in advance? What will the programme entail?

Absolutely nothing in advance. During the session, you’ll be guided through a process which results in the development of research ideas. The process facilitates creativity, potentially leading to innovative and interdisciplinary research ideas. These ideas will be explored with other attendees, and further developed based on the feedback received.

What if I don’t have time to think about ideas in advance?

You don’t need to do this but it will help. Attendees will come from a range of backgrounds so we expect that there will be lively conversations resulting from these different perspectives.

What about afterwards? Do I need to go away and do loads of work?

Well… that depends! This interactive day will result in some novel research ideas. Some of these may be progressed immediately; others might need more time to develop. You may find common ground with other attendees which you choose to take forward in other ways, such as writing a paper or developing a new placement opportuntity.

What if my topic area is really specific, such as health and AI/Robotics?

Your contribution will be very welcome! One of the main benefits of this type of event is to bring together individuals with a range of backgrounds and specialisms who are able to see things just that bit differently to one another.

 

So, how do I book onto this event?

This event will take place on Wednesday, 24th May 2017. To book, please contact Dianne Goodman by end Wednesday, 10th May 2017 with your Name, Organisation and Research Interest(s).  All spaces will be confirmed by Monday 15th of May 2017.

This event is part of the new Research Knowledge Exchange Development Framework.

The Compound Eye of Calliphora Vomitoria (Bluebottle fly)

“Blood feeding activity of flies at crime scenes can be confounding. Experiments were conducted to investigate the blood feeding activity, and blood artefact patterns created by flies following a blood meal. The trials were undertaken in a staged environment where over 500 flies were exposed to 500ml of horse blood in a sealed gazebo for a period of 72 hours. The resulting patterns, a total of 539,507 fly blood artefacts, were then compared to recreated bloodstain patterns commonly encountered during instances of violent assault. These comparisons focused on overall pattern shape, total stain numbers, stain density per cm2 and the zone where they were deposited. Informal observations and recordings were also made of individual stain colour and stain alignment, but were not measured.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Christopher’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition, where he won second prize.

Christopher Dwen  is currently working as a Research Assistant on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Sherlock’s Window”. This  HEIF-funded project at BU  aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

Research Drove Me to Murder

“As reported by National Policing Improving Agency, the most frequently encountered evidence at the scenes of a crime is footwear impressions and marks. Unfortunately, recovery and usage of this kind of evidence has not achieved its full potential. Due to the cost benefit ratio (time consuming casting procedures, expensive scanners) footprints are often neglected evidence. As technology changes, the capabilities of forensic science should continue to evolve. By translating academic research and technical ‘know-how’ into software (www.digtrace.co.uk) the authors have placed 3D imaging of footwear evidence in the hands of every police force in the UK and overseas.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dominika’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. BU alumni, Dominika,  graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing.  Find our more about her role on the HEIF project.
Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

Sherlock’s Window: In search of an odourless growth medium

“A key aspect of forensic investigation is the assessment of the ‘window of opportunity’ during which death took place. Estimations using insects (e.g. blowflies) increase accuracy. Using blowflies to determine post-mortem period requires an understanding of the temperature dependent growth patterns that they develop through their life cycle. In order to understand this, blowfly larvae are reared on growth media in the laboratory.

Sherlock’s Window is a HEIF-funded project at BU which aims to produce an odourless growth medium that can be rolled out internationally for use in forensic investigation. Illustrated here is the head of a third instar blowfly larva. Maggots have no eyes, but the protrusions at the tip of the mouth area are palps, used for feeling and manipulating food particles. The rows of black barbs that are visible are used to pull the maggot forward through the food substrate.”

This was the abstract submitted to accompany Dr Andrew Whittington’s recent submission to the Research Photography Competition.

Find out more about the project in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle featured in the section:  “Innovation in industry:how researchers and the wider community are working together.”

Follow HEIF on Instagram to find out more about the innovation projects taking place at BU: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

 

 

 

BU alumni working on serious gaming project

Joshua (Josh) Cook graduated in 2016  with a first in BSc Games Programming.  He is currently working on an innovation project being led by Professor Wen Tang. ” PLUS”   is a gamified training application funded by HEIF,  in collaboration with the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (Strategic Alliance) Police forces in order to provide a virtual learning environment that teaches trainees in a more engaging manner than traditional paper based learning.

As a project team member Wen commented “Josh has been a pro-active and key member of the project team working with both academics , the College of Policing and police forces around the UK to develop this training application.”

Key areas of focus for Josh have included:

  • Making the system more generic, so that the project can later be expanded to multiple areas and more situations with ease
  • Improve the visual environment (of the game) with shaders and animations
  • Include data analytics in order to obtain an understanding as to how trainees are using the game, how long they take, how many mistakes they make etc

Josh didn’t take a placement year during University, so aside from a summer position in a local games position he  did not have much work experience. On being given this opportuntity to work on the projetc Josh commented ” The PLUS project seemed like an interesting project to work on, and when I found out a position was open to work on it I applied. I’ve learned some useful things on this project, such as working from and improving upon an existing code base, what it’s like working directly with clients, implementing and using data analytics, and I’m sure I’ll learn more throughout the duration of my employment.”

This project has received funding from August 2015 with the funding ending in July 2017. (HEIF 5+1 and HEIF 5+1+1)

Read more about this project in full: Serious Games for Police Training. 

College of Policing Research Map

BU alumni supporting innovation projects at BU

Dominika Budka is currently working on an innovation funded (HEIF) project called: “Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces”. She graduated last year  (2016) having completed an MSc Forensic and Neuropsychological Perspectives in Face-Processing

Forensic technology and tools are advancing across the board, with the analysis of digital trace evidence being an exception. The techniques and tools used to capture and analyse footwear evidence have not changed in over a hundred years. This project is already changing the status quo by translating academic research on human and dinosaur tracks into tools for forensic practitioners to use. The product that has been  developed, DigTrace, is an integrated software solution for the capture and analysis of 3D data whether in a forensic context (footwear evidence) or in the study of vertebrate tracks and footprints. One of the  recent successes is the exhibit  the project team are  organising at the very prestigious Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, to be held in London in July.

 The project team were looking for a dissemination officer to help spread the word about the software and engage user groups both within the UK and overseas.  Dominika’s role involves working with external stakeholder groups, organising dissemination events, developing training materials and events for academics, crime agencies, forensic specialists, and UK police forces.

About working on the project, Dominika comented,  I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the project, which is not only well-aligned with my interests, but has also a huge potential for impact in terms of improving societal security. I’m working with a unique product set which can enhance global security by improving forensic practice, as well as criminal intelligence gathering and ultimately prosecution. The forensic context of the project is what I find most interesting as it links directly to my MSc”

To find out more about the project – click on the link: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

 

Innovation funding now featured on Instagram !

Forming part of a media package to support innovation funding at BU, a new Instagram Account is now live. Oliver Cooke a third year student on the BA Honours Media Production course is developing a number of different media channels to showcase the range of Higher Education Innovation Funded (HEIF) projects at BU.

It can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/heif_at_bu/

This first image to go live comes from Matthew Bennett’s submission to the Research Photography Competition. (Read more about the HEIF project Matthew is leading on here: Dinosaurs to Forensic Science: Digital, Tracks and Traces

(Research Photography Competition now in its third year.)

Ollie is also working on a short video documentary and website as part of this project.

Ollie’s  experience with HEIF came from the time on his  work placement last year.  He worked within the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) as the Student Engagement Co-Ordinator and had the chance to be involved in a number of initiatives including HEIF. Whilst reflecting on his time in RKEO and ideas for his Graduate Project, it was clear  that there are many interesting projects at BU.

Commenting on his chosen topic Ollie comented “It also struck me that here was an ideal opportunity to create some really engaging media content in order to showcase the innovation journeys and provide more information about innovation and knowledge exchange at BU. This will aim to highlight the people involved with HEIF at BU, as well as the research.”

Ollie has just started filming and the first footage has been shot involving Andrew Whittington (PI)  and BU student Christopher Dwen who are working on the project: “Sherlock’s Window: improving accuracy of entomological forensics at post-mortem criminal investigation using combined cuticular hydrocarbon and internal metabolite analysis.”

(Sherlock’s Window was also featured in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle: Edition 6, January 2017, Page 22.)

Graduate Project – Supporting innovation at BU

Oliver Cooke filming compressedMy name is Oliver Cooke and I am currently in my third year of study on the BA Honours Media Production course. As part of my Graduate Project, I am developing a media package in order to showcase a number of projects that have been awarded Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

My experience with HEIF comes from the time on my work placement that I undertook last year. I worked within the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office (RKEO) as the Student Engagement Co-Ordinator. I learnt about many initiatives at BU including HEIF; so whilst reflecting on my time in RKEO and ideas for my Graduate Project, it was clear to me that there are many interesting projects at BU. It also struck me that here was an ideal opportunity to create some really engaging media content in order to showcase the innovation journeys and provide more information about innovation and knowledge exchange at BU.

The media content I will be producing will include a short video documentary, web content that can be integrated with the BU Research Website and a social media campaign. This will aim to highlight the people involved with HEIF at BU, as well as the research.

I have just started filming and the first footage has been shot involving Andrew Whittington (PI)  and BU student Christopher Dwen who are working on the project: “Sherlock’s Window: improving accuracy of entomological forensics at post-mortem criminal investigation using combined cuticular hydrocarbon and internal metabolite analysis.”

(Sherlock’s Window was also featured in the latest edition of the Bournemouth Research Chronicle: Edition 6, January 2017, Page 22.)

 

Funding opportunity – Innovation in health and life sciences 2

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Innovate UK – Innovation in health and life sciences 2 – Call now open!

Innovate UK is investing up to £15 million in projects addressing technical or commercial challenges in health and life sciences (H&LS).

The H&LS sector focuses on agriculture, food and healthcare. It is supported by bioscience technology, medical research and engineering and physical sciences expertise. The aim is to increase competitiveness for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Grants can be awarded to projects led by a UK-based business of any size. In certain circumstances a research and technology organisation (RTO) may also be eligible to lead. (See section 5 of the briefing document.)

SMEs are encouraged to lead on projects. An SME can apply on its own for funding up to £100,000. All consortia must involve at least one SME.

We expect projects to last from 6 months to 3 years and range in size from total project costs of £50,000 to £2 million.

There are 2 options for applications to this competition:

  • £5 million for projects that last from 6 months to 1 year with total project costs from £50,000 to £100,000
  • £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years with total project costs between £100,000 and £2 million

Key dates:

  • Competion opens 6 February
  • Register by midday 5 April
  • Apply before midday 12 April

Competion brief and more information: Click here.

If you are interested in submitting to this  call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

Spotting an opportunity – A research journey from face blindness to super recogniser

Sarah Bate image

“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” – Peter Drucker[1]

What’s your job? is a question I’m regularly asked by family and friends. For me, one of the easiest ways to explain this is to use some of the research and project collaborations I have the chance to be involved within my role at the university; as examples.

Managing the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) portfolio at BU means I have the chance to work with many innovative and sometimes “quirky” projects. HEIF whilst not the only fund that encourages innovation and knowledge exchange often provides funding where there may not be such a natural fit from some of the more traditional funding sources. Many project teams use HEIF to leverage further research and grant opportunities, having developed relationships and networks with organisations as part of their HEIF project.

Research into Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) formed part of Dr Sarah Bate’s early years as both a student and academic. Funded by the ESRC and MRC Sarah’s doctoral research examined eye – movement  strategies in people with prosopagnosia.(2009)

Much of  Sarah’s work examines the nature of face-processing difficulties in both adults and children, with a particular focus on ‘prosopagnosia’ or ‘face blindness’, where people cannot recognise others from their faces alone. Including a Roundtable discussion in the House of Commons, development in this area of research subsequently informed policy  with the NHS recognising this as a condition  – NHS Choices Website.(2014)

Sarah’s more recent research  has progressed to the other end of the facial recognition spectrum moving from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognise familiar faces, to super-recognisers who have exceptional face processing skills.

In 2009, the first report of people with extraordinary face recognition skills (so-called “super-recognisers”) was published, followed by a further investigation in 2012. Both papers examined the performance of super-recognisers on laboratory-based tasks, using tests that are typically used to assess those with prosopagnosia.

These so-called “super-recognisers” may be of particular use in policing and national security settings, such as passport control or when hunting for a wanted or missing person. The lab at BU is now developing a specific line of expertise in forensic face recognition.  Funding from HEIF has helped with this development. (2015 – 2017.) Collaborations with organisations such as the police have progressed from  local to national and international  relationships, in addition to the security agencies.

Being agile and adaptable to  look at different  funding opportunities and changes within the external environment has provided Sarah with the opportunity to consider how her research can make an impact beyond the NHS as her research goes form strength to strength to address the practical applications and need,  utilising super-recognisers for policing and border control.

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[1] https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/my-top-10-quotes-on-opportunity

 

Visuality – using imagery and digital media in Higher Education teaching

events

Event date: Friday 24 February

  • Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
  • Location: University of Chichester Business School, Bognor Regis Campus
  • Theme: Visuality – using imagery and digital media in Higher Education teaching

Co-ordinated by the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group (HEEG) this event is free to BU members of staff (BU fund membership to this group and the subscription to HEEG allows any staff member of  the institution to attend events without an extra charge).

Session Summary:

Enterprise and entrepreneurship education is now recognised as essential to the university experience for all students whether ot not they wish to start up a business. Enterprise education is imbedded into programmes as diverse as Fine Art and Sport. Committed teaching, careers and enterprise centre staff make learning enterprise skills fun. The challenge remains to keep sessions current and to reflect industry practices in order to develop skills that employers want. A further challenge is to build resilience so that the employers want. A further challenge is to build resilience so that students are better prepared to face the sometimes-lonely world of the entrepreneur. The current generation of students also seek a more entertaining and technologically based learning experience, demand involvement by co-creation of the curriculum and seek greater control over their own learning.

This workshop explores how educators and practitioners use imagery and digital media in the classroom, to develop blended learning opportunities. It explores the use of visual cues outside of the classroom as a way to enhance the student learning experience.

Students feature as speakers, and will share their views on visuality and its impact on their learning and preparedness for the workplace. This will be a chance to experience first-hand how easy it is to work with images and discover a free and easy to use online software tool to enhance your teaching materials and in-class exercises. This session will finish with a digital feedback gathering exercise.

To book and for more information click here.

Funding opportunities – Quantum Technologies

 

IInnovateUK_LogoA_Interim_RGBx320govuk[1]Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are to invest up to £13 million in quantum technologies.

The aim of this competition is to encourage collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects and feasibility studies that will either:

  • develop prototype devices and demonstrators of quantum technologies or their component technologies
  • improve the understanding of the technical, business or market challenges of taking a new device or service to market

The devices may be:

  • clocks
  • sensors
  • imaging
  • communications
  • computing
  • other devices that use quantum effects of superposition or entanglement

Proposals must be collaborative and a UK-based business must lead the project.

This is a single-stage competition. Two streams are running to support technologies at different stages of development:

  • feasibility studies: Projects should last between 6 and 12 months with costs from £50,000 to £500,000
  • collaborative R&D: Projects should last between 12 and 18 months with costs from £500,000 to £2 million

To lead a project you must:

  • be a UK-based business of any size or a research and technology organisation (RTO) working within the limits that are provided in the guidance for applicants
  • carry out the  project in the UK
  • work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base or third sector)

Key dates:

  • Competition opens: 30 January
  • Register: Midday 29 March
  • Apply before: Midday 5 April

For more information:

Competion guidance and project briefs click here

If you are interested in submitting to this call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

Funding opportuntity – Innovation in health and life sciences

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Innovate UK – Innovation in health and life sciences 2 – opens soon!

Innovate UK is investing up to £15 million in projects addressing technical or commercial challenges in health and life sciences (H&LS).

The H&LS sector focuses on agriculture, food and healthcare. It is supported by bioscience technology, medical research and engineering and physical sciences expertise. The aim is to increase competitiveness for UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Grants can be awarded to projects led by a UK-based business of any size. In certain circumstances a research and technology organisation (RTO) may also be eligible to lead. (See section 5 of the briefing document.)

SMEs are encouraged to lead on projects. An SME can apply on its own for funding up to £100,000. All consortia must involve at least one SME.

We expect projects to last from 6 months to 3 years and range in size from total project costs of £50,000 to £2 million.

There are 2 options for applications to this competition:

  • £5 million for projects that last from 6 months to 1 year with total project costs from £50,000 to £100,000
  • £10 million for projects lasting from 1 year to 3 years with total project costs between £100,000 and £2 million

Key dates:

  • Competion opens 6 February
  • Register by midday 5 April
  • Apply before midday 12 April

Competion brief and more information: Click here.

If you are interested in submitting to this  call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.

 

Prize – commercialisation of innovative research in Materials Science

Innovate 2011v4

The application period is now open for the 2017 Armourers & Brasiers Materials Science Venture Prize.

The prize is worth £25,000 in the form of an investment and is awarded to take forward the commercialisation of innovative research in Materials Science.

This is the tenth year of the competition.  Previous successful projects reflect the broad range of research in Materials Science and include biomaterials, ceramics, conductive materials and protective coatings.  In many cases the award of the prize has helped to attract additional funds from other investors very promptly. The prize has been awarded to projects originating from the following universities: Cambridge, Liverpool, UCL, Sheffield Hallam, Oxford, Queen Mary University of London, Aberdeen, Bristol and Swansea.   More information about previous winners is available on the website.

Applications are invited from UK-based scientists and should be submitted on the Venture Prize Application Form by 24th March 2017.

Please click on this link for more information about the objectives of the prize and to download the application form.

For further information:

Funding opportunities : Biomedical catalyst

theme - health

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to £10 million to develop innovative ideas that will help solve healthcare challenges. The project must be carried out in the UK.  Projects must be led by a micro, small or medium business enterprise (SME) with companies applying either individually or in collaboration with other SME businesses or research organisations. See more information on academic led applications.

The aim of this competition is to develop innovative healthcare technologies and processes that will help provide:

  • disease prevention and proactive management of health and chronic conditions
  • earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease, leading to better patient outcomes
  • tailored treatments that either change the underlying disease or offer potential cures

This competition has 2 awards:

Application deadline is midday Wednesday 29 March.

Feasibility studies award

Total project costs of up to £200,000. Projects should last between 3 months and 1 year. Projects must start by 1 August 2017 and end by 1 August 2018.

Primer award

Projects are likely to range in size from total project costs of £200,000 to £1.5 million. Projects should last up to 2 years. Projects must start by 1 August 2017 and end by 1 August 2019.

The Biomedical Catalyst supports innovative solutions to healthcare challenges. Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council and Scottish Enterprise fund Biomedical Catalyst awards.

If you are interested in submitting to to this call you must contact your  RKEO Funding Development Officer with adequate notice before the deadline.

For more funding opportunities that are most relevant to you, you can set up your own personalised alerts on Research Professional. If you need help setting these up, just ask your School’s/Faculty’s Funding Development Officer in  RKEO or view the recent blog post here.

If thinking of applying, why not add notification of your interest on Research Professional’s record of the bid so that BU colleagues can see your intention to bid and contact you to collaborate.