BU’s Strategic Investment Areas and our new research clusters

As articulated within BU2025, our Strategic Investment Areas (SIAs) build on our existing academic strengths and future opportunities aligned to external priorities, including policy direction and funding. BU Research Blog | How do I get involved with the Strategic Investment Areas at BU? Insight for academics and professional service staff | Bournemouth University

The four Strategic Investment Areas are:

  • Assistive Technology
  • Animation, Simulation & Visualisation
  • Medical Science
  • Sustainability, Low Carbon Technology & Materials Science.

These areas were developed in consultation with BU staff through the BU2025 planning process.

Since the launch of BU2025, we have developed the scope for each SIA and reviewed the relevant policy, legislation, networks/specialist interest groups as well as related growth/acceleration of areas of research for the UK, EU and globally. To date, two major new initiatives have been supported and enabled strategic University support, the Institute of Medical Imaging & Visualisation and the Institute of Modelling Socio-Environmental Transitions.

But what comes next? As we have explored before on the Research Blog, the creation of new knowledge is a fundamental part of what we do as a University. This is especially pertinent for BU given our commitment to fusion, meaning that everyone has responsibilities for research (alongside education and professional practice). Over the spring and summer of 2021, as we began to emerge from the initial COVID-19 related crisis, you may remember that we put out a call forward for Expressions of Interest for game-changing research concepts. Many brilliant ideas were forthcoming with a number of concepts identified as priority areas for support further to a competitive process. A series of blog posts will take you through them this week in more detail, but can be summarised in brief as follows:

  • Towards Remote Production: Multi-Disciplinary Innovation in Virtual Production to widen access, enhance sustainability and enable new applications; led by Dr Richard Southern
    • Virtual Production (VP) defines a set of new production practices where practitioners work in and interact directly with a virtual set. VP reduces the need to move crews and equipment to the location and enables remote working in VR, reducing CVD-19 risks, the environmental footprint, slashes production costs and upends the traditional production process by blurring the lines between production departments. The logical next step in the evolution of the discipline is to transition production in film, TV and broadcast media practices from those that are mainly facilities-bound to working environments that are remotely collaborative.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Ultrasonic Fatigue Prediction and Life Extension (ADDISONIC); led by Dr Diogo Montalvao:
    • Our mission is to reduce global waste by extending the life and enhancing the optimisation of engineered systems utilised in the medical, assistive technology, sustainability and low carbon sectors through incorporating novel advanced materials tested under ultrasonic fatigue for quick and reliable predictability of properties to extend their life”.
  • Multimodal Immersive NEuro-sensing  (MINE), led by Dr Xun He.
    • “The concept is to develop a pioneering Multimodal Immersive NEuro-sensing (MINE) system for the measurement of human behaviour and neural activities in realistic and controlled environments. Our concept will enable strategic research growth in multiple disciplines, with human signal measurement at the core of Assistive Technology (AT).”
  • Fish Ecology and Conservation at Bournemouth University (FishE@BU), led by Prof Rob Britton:
    • The Research Cluster for Fish Ecology and Conservation at Bournemouth University (FishE@BU) is being established to address a significant current global challenge: how can we manage and respond to rapid environmental change to prevent the collapse of aquatic ecosystems that is being driven by the dramatic declines in fish biodiversity? Correspondingly, FishE@BU is being established to help resolve this global crisis through the application of state-of-the-art spatial, behavioural, trophic and molecular ecology approaches to create significant new knowledge to increase contemporary understandings of, and help manage, the underlying causes of the on-going global loss of fish biodiversity. 

How can I learn more? 

Look out for the forthcoming blog posts that introduce these concepts and feel free to get in-touch with colleagues directly to explore the potential for collaboration. Furthermore, if you would like to receive details of forthcoming launch and networking events, please email: sia@bournemouth.ac.uk