Category / Knowledge Transfer

Immerse UK – connecting the worlds of virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive technologies

Flying planes in a computer game

This is a new Knowledge Transfer Network that was launched in November 2016.  The network now has just under 400 members. Around 70% are  business, 20% are from universities and research centres, 5% from government or public sector backgrounds, and a further 5% from not-for-profit and cultural organisations.

Over 100 people from across those groups came to the  first members’ meeting on December 7th at the Digital Catapult. Following presentations from some of Immerse UK’s founding partners as well as two of the key platform providers (HTC and Holovis), there was a series of roundtable conversations about the priorities.

The key topics identified as ones where Immerse UK can make a difference are:
– access to finance, funding and investment
– content, production and user experience
– connecting industry and universities (skills and research)
– industrial applications
– mapping activity in the UK

Access to Finance and Funding
Immerse UK will work with investors and funders in the UK and other countries to make them aware of the opportunities and needs of SMEs building businesses on the applications of VR/AR and other immersive technologies across a range of markets. As well as advising public sector agencies such as Innovate UK and Horizon 2020, where we’ve already had significant success, we’ll work to connect members with angels, VCs, and commissioners.

An event is being planned  with VCs for the first quarter of 2017 in collaboration with PwC; we’ll send out more information about this early in the New Year. Immerse UK are also working with a European network, the NEM Initiative, to explore the feasibility of establishing a pan-European network of financiers focussing on VR/AR.

Mapping Immersive activities in the UK
One of the objectives of ImmerseUK is to map current expertise and activities related to VR/AR technologies. This map will support understanding of current UK expertise and facilities, to help companies gain access to the support they need, and also to link members.

Immerse UK would ideally like to create a web-based map to show the following information for each member: academia/industry; VR/AR facilities; application areas; expertise; sector; etc. and also to provide a search facility. The map must be: 1. easy to update/populate; 2. accessible; 3. visually attractive; and 4. easy to understand and use. If anyone has such expertise, or has experience of creating/using a suitable off-the-shelf software, please contact glyn.lawson@nottingham.ac.uk.

Content, Production and User Experience
Two main themes were raised in the members’ discussion around content: standards and “how can AV/VR be explored to the boundaries of its potential experience, rather than using the grammar and content of games, web or 2D content”. What are the specific affordances of AR and VR that are more than the sum of the parts from TV, Film, Games and internet?

In the conversation around production, issues raised included the reduction of costs, and the need to educate and engage content providers working in other media.

The working group in this area is also being co-ordinated by the Digital Catapult and KTN. If you are interested in being involved in the development of this please contact  Frank Boyd at the KTN 07964 563152
@frnboy

Connecting industry and academia (skills and research)
Universities were well represented at the meeting and Immerse UK continues to attract members from across academia. Glyn Lawson from Nottingham, who has submitted a bid to the EPSRC to fund networking across the academic community and between universities and business, is also leading the working group for this activity. If you would like to be involved in this aspect of the  programme, please contact him: glyn.lawson@nottingham.ac.uk.

Industrial Applications – co-ordinated by IET and High Value Manufacturing Catapult
The discussion on industrial applications of vr and related technologies was hosted by Ahmed Kotb who co-ordinates the IET’s Applied Visualisation Community. The IET will be working with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult to lead much of Immerse UK’s activity in this area.

Immerse UK are currently collaborating on an Applied Visualisation Forum which will be held at the British Motor Museum on January 26th. The forum will encourage those working in the field of visualisation and virtual reality (VR) to share their expertise, good practice, hardware and software advances and application in VR, Augmented Reality (AR) and Data Capture and Visualisation.

Immerse UK are also in the early stages of planning an event focused on the construction industry which is likely to be held in April or May 2017.

Communications
We’ve now completed the first iteration of the Immerse UK website, established groups on LinkedIn, a Facebook page, and a presence on Twitter. Please do join these groups and contribute to the conversations in them.

If you have news about activity or events that you’d like to share with the Immerse UK community, please send it to Frank Boyd or to fiona.kilkelly@ktn-uk.org.

Innovate UK funding
Innovate UK is launching two new competitions for funding in the New Year which may be relevant to Immerse UK members.
 
1. Design Foundations 
This new competition aims to support businesses in identifying high-value innovation opportunities and generate propositions for new products, services and business models. It is open to any UK company, regardless of size or sector and will provide up to £70,000 of project funding to help you address key business challenges.This programme runs for the whole of 2017. If it sounds of interest, do register for the launch event which is on 17 January 2017. You’ll get further insight into how to apply and you can also network to find the right collaborators, if you don’t already have someone in mind. There are further rounds in May and August so these may be appropriate if you need more development time.

Further details on the programme are on KTN’s website.

2. Transforming products and services
Innovate UK has up to £15 million to support the best business-led and innovative ideas for new products, processes and services. This competition is the second of 2 annual Innovate UK open competitions that support good ideas with market potential from any technology area.Projects that are likely to lead to a sustainable growth in productivity or access to new overseas markets will be given priority.

More information  can be found here.

Events:
Immerse UK members are organising a number of events over the next few weeks.

The newly opened Realities Centre is launching a programme of conferences including:
EdTech Conference, Jan 19th – London
EdTech Hackathon – Jan 21/22nd – London

You may also be interested in:
VR Connects London conference, 16th-17th January 2017
More information can be found at here.

Connecting people to accelerate innovation

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The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) is Innovate UK’s networking partner and provides information on funding, events and news on a number of different sectors to support Innovate UK with its mission to drive UK growth and productivity.

A number of LinkedIn groups which cover Innovate UK’s thematic areas have been set up:

You can join as many groups as you like. This allows you to keep-up-to date with funding, events and news in a variety of sectors helping you to stay on top of potential opportunities and develop future collaborations.

These are replacing the _connect networking groups.

Data Science and Analytics Training for Business

logo-czrneData Science and Analytics Training and Engagement Services for Business – HEIF project

We are experiencing an explosive growth of digital content. According to International Data Corporation, there are currently over 2.7 zetabytes of data. It is estimated that in 2020, the digital universe will be 50 times as big as in 2010 and that from now until 2020 it will double every two years.

The commercial world has been transformed by Big Data with companies competing on analytics. Data has become a commodity referred to as the ‘new oil’. We are entering a new era of predictive analytics and data intensive computing which has been recognised worldwide with various high profile reports. In a recent UK-wide report commissioned by SAS UK (one of our key industrial partners) it has been estimated that there will be about 132,000 big data job opportunities created in the UK economy between 2012 and 2017. McKinsey’s report states that by 2018 the US alone will face a shortage of between 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, while in the UK such shortage will be in the region of 58,000 (e-Skills UK5). Another SAS commissioned report focusing on “data equity” and its impact on the UK, states that increasing adoption of big data analytics will result in cumulative benefits of £216 billion over the years 2012-17.

Following the success of recently launched MSc in Applied Data Analytics, this HEIF project seeks to take advantage of a large demand for and addresses the widening advanced analytics skills gap. Our HEIF project focuses on:

  1. Engagement with industry through a provision of an on-going opportunity for contact, information and advice in the Data Science Surgeries which are open to businesses of all sizes as well as university staff and students. This service is to support the creation of Knowledge Exchange professional network in the Data Science and Analytics area helping to identify potential skillset needed as well as transfer of knowledge and collaborative research opportunities.
  2. Development of a portfolio of CPD/short courses within an area with acute UK-wide shortage of skills and where, within the Data Science community consisting of over 50 academics from four faculties, BU has a wealth of expertise and excellent track record.

Over time, the Data Science Surgeries and CPD courses will facilitate engagement between industry and the broader BU Data Science community, enabling us to build bridges and develop relationships with industry, as well as interdisciplinary research collaborations.  The new perspectives developed through this interdisciplinary collaboration will not only help to give a better understanding of some of the complex problems facing our society, but also help to inform both the teaching and professional practice undertaken by our academics -supporting the vision of Fusion at BU.

SHIVA project progresses with innovation funding

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The SHIVA Project has received Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF) that runs for 12 months from August 2016 until July 2017. (HEIF 5+1+1.)

The HEIF funding will be critical in terms of supporting the development of networks locally, nationally and beyond. The key aims will be to link user groups and stakeholders in education, health and wellbeing related to children, young people and adults, through the creative digital innovations offered by the SHIVA project.

This project which brought innovative virtual sculpting tools to children with complex disabilities, enabling them to partake in creative digital activities from which they had previously been excluded was recognised in the Time Higher Awards last November winning the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research Category.

Originally the SHIVA project on 3D modelling and 3D printing for young people with disabilities was funded by the EU Interreg programme with the duration from 2010 to 2015.

The original project team worked with the Victoria Education Centre (VEC) in Poole.  As the project ended in 2015, it was clear there was scope to take this project beyond the initial funding and the SHIVA project has successfully been awarded impact acceleration funding and more recently HEIF funding.

A new Research Assistant, Michelle Wu, an NCCA graduate (2016), is the latest member to join this team. Michelle will be involved in turning the SHIVA system into a deployable product with proper installation, configuration and usage instructions. This area of work will help make SHIVA accessible to all potential users in the UK and further afield and strengthen the potential for developing networks that will benefit from this award winning technology.

For more information on this project contact Alexander Pasko or Oleg Fryazinov within the Faculty of Media and Communication.

Jayne Codling within RKEO co-ordinates the HEIF project portfolio for BU. Feel free to contact Jayne if you have any questions regarding HEIF at BU or knowledge exchange activities including business engagement and innovation funding.

RKEDF Workshop – Innovate UK: A Guide to Funding

rkeo-dev-logo-squareAs part of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework, RKEO are holding a workshop for academics to learn more about funding opportunities from Innovate UK.  This workshop will be led by our local Innovate UK KTP Adviser and the will be talking about various Innovate UK funding opportunities.  There will also be a drop-in session for one-to-one advice.

Venue: Talbot Campus

Date: Friday 9th December 2016

Time: 10.00-12.00

Book your space by contacting Organisational Development.

For further information, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser.

ESRC Festival of Social Sciences

Dr John Oliver, from the Advances in Media Management research cluster, recently delivered a keynote lecture at the Open Innovation Design Jam competition at the University of Glasgow. The event formed part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science programme of activities that ran from 5th-12th November across the UK.

The Design Jam also involved a number of short, intensive brainstorming sessions in which teams developed innovative solutions to challenges. This event was an opportunity for innovators and businesses to explore open, collective and user-led innovation.
Dr Oliver’s talk on media innovation strategies presented empirical data on how the innovation practices of UK media firms had transformed firm capabilities and corporate financial performance.

Business Engagement and Networking

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The aim of the ‘Working with Business’ pathway is to develop your skills to connect with the business community including networking, identifying project funding – including Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and building project teams involving businesses.

You will have the opportunity to hear from both internal and external speakers as to how they have developed networks to facilitate collaborations and engage with the university.

The next session: “Business engagement and networking” will be running on Wednesday 2 November from 2.00pm – 4.00pm and bookings are being taken now.

If you want to put your networking skills to the test there are a number of events running during November that involve the chance to meet with external organisations during the Festival of Social Science and Festival of Enterprise.

Please feel free to contact Jayne Codling or Rachel Clarke if you have any questions regarding knowledge exchange at BU. Both Jayne and Rachel are based within RKEO.

This session forms part of the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Framework.  Please see previous blog posts in the Development Framework for information on the separate pathways. rkeo-rke-working-with-business

 

 

 

 

New paper Dr. Catherine Angell on CPD in Nepal

nnaCongratulations to Dr. Catherine Angell (FHSS) who just had her paper ‘Continual Professional Development (CPD): an opportunity to improve the Quality of Nursing Care in Nepal’ accepted in Health Prospect.   The paper is co-authored with BU Visiting Faculty Dr. Bibha Simkhada and Prof. Padam Simkhada  both based at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Dr. Rose Khatri  and Dr. Sean Mackacel-logo-weby (also at LJMU), Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery and Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH), and our colleagues in Dr. Sujan Marahatta and Associate Professor Chandra Kala Sharma. Ms. Chandra Kala Sharma is also the president of the Nepal Nursing Association (left in photo).  Health Prospect is an Open Access journal, hence freely available to anybody in Nepal (and elsewhere in the world).

dsc_0124This paper is first of several based on a study aiming to improve CPD in Nepal and it is partly funded by LJMU and partly funded by BU’s Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL).  The CEL-funded part of the project centres on focus group research with representatives of the Ministry of Health & Population, the Ministry of Education, the Nepal Nursing Association and the Nursing Council, and Higher Education providers of Nurse Education (both form Government-run universities and private colleges). The focus group schedule will include starter questions to initiate discussions around the kind of CPD nurses in Nepal need, its format, preferred models, the required quality and quantity, and ways of  checking up (quality control). In addition we will be asking a subgroup of nurses registered in Nepal about midwifery skills as midwifery is not recognised as a separate profession from nursing in Nepal. Hence there will be three focus groups specifically about midwifery CPD: one at MIDSON (the Midwifery Organisation of Nepal), one with nurses providing maternity care in private hospitals and one with nurses doing this in government hospitals.

The research is a natural FUSION project in the field of nursing & midwifery as it links Research in the field of Education to help improve Practice in Nepal.

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

 

Reference:

  1. (CPD): an opportunity to improve the Quality of Nursing Care in Nepal, Health Prospect (Accepted) 

 

 

Innovate 2016 – The Global Spotlight on UK Innovation

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Innovate 2016 will be held at Manchester Central on the 2nd – 3rd November 2016.

Take part in the global showcase of UK innovation, hear from global thought-leaders and create real business opportunities at Innovate 2016. Find out about today’s business opportunities and future-looking trends across manufacturing, health, cities of the future and technologies of the future.

Hear from industry-leaders on topics such as:

  • Retaining the edge with disruptive business models
  • Manufacturing: Tackling the productivity gap
  • Implementing resilience in a city of the future
  • Next-generation medicine: The UK as a world leader
  • Emerging technologies revolutionising innovation

View the full agenda.

Inspirational speakers
Hear from top-level inspirational speakers from organisations including:  Siemens, Versarien, Amazon, University of Manchester, Hyperloop One, High Value Manufacturing Catapult and of course Innovate UK CEO Dr Ruth McKernan CBE and Catherine Raines, CEO from the Department for International Trade.
Support zone

Discover the breadth of funding and support for businesses  and meet with the organisations that exist to help business thrive. The Support Zone will be back featuring among others the UK Business Angels Association, British Business Bank, HMRC and Growth Hubs.

Register and find out more.

 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – Submission deadlines

After this next KTP submission deadline on 7th September 2016, there is one further deadline in 2016 – 2nd November 2016.

Various aspects of the KTP submission and approval process have changed over the past few months and for a breakdown of what these changes are, please take a look here.

Future KTP submission deadlines for your planning are:

  • 18th January 2017
  • 8th March 2017

If you have any KTP ideas that you’d like support with, please contact Rachel Clarke, KE Adviser on 61347.

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Bringing FUSION to Nepal

FUSION abroad 2016We have written in many previous BU blogs about progress of our THET-funded project in southern Nepal (e.g. here AND here ). Today’s blog reflects on the use on BU’s unique FUSION approach in our project ‘Mental Health Training for Maternity Care Providers in Nepal‘.

DSC_0151Our BU-led project brings highly experienced health professionals, such as midwives, health visitors or mental health nurses, to Nepal to work as volunteer trainers. The training is aimed at community-based maternity care practitioners and addresses key mental health issues relevant to pregnancy and for new mothers and offers the required communication skills. These health professionals will bring their experience as health care providers as well as trainers in the field of mental health and maternity care/midwifery, mental ill-health prevention and health promotion. They volunteer for two to three weeks at a time to design and deliver training in southern Nepal.

logo THETThe Centre for Midwifery & Maternal Health (CMMPH) collaborates in this project with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), the Department of Health, and Physical & Population Education at Nepal’s oldest university Tribhuvan University’s (TU). The project is supported in the field by a local charity called Green Tara Nepal. Our project is part of the Health Partnership such as Nepal. HPS itself is funded by the UK Department for International Development and managed by THET (Tropical and Health Education Trust).

Fusion Diagram Our maternal mental health project is a good example of BU’s FUSION approach as it combines EDUCATION (through the training of Auxiliary Nurse-Midwives in Nepal) by UK volunteers (representing PRACTICE) through an intervention which is properly evaluated (representing RESEARCH) is a perfect example of BU’s FUSION in action. Moreover, the project will be partly evaluated by FHSS’s Preeti Mahato as part of her PhD thesis research. This PhD project is supervised by Dr. Catherine Angell (CEL & CMMPH), BU Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada (based at LJMU) and CMMPH’s Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen.BU’s focus on the FUSION of research, education and professional practice is a unique variant of the way UK universities (and many abroad) blend academic teaching, research and scholarship. FUSION is a key concept derived from BU’s strategic Vision & Values).

 

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Catalyst fund: innovation in learning and teaching

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The Higher Education Funding Council for England invites applications for its catalyst fund: innovation in learning and teaching. This supports small-scale projects to develop innovations in learning and teaching for university provision.

The council is particularly interested in proposals which:

•develop curriculum innovations from interdisciplinary research, interdisciplinary professional practice or both;

•respond to employer demands for advanced skills or knowledge;

•develop use of learner analytics for particular pedagogic purposes.

Click here for more information.

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.

Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Framework: Working with Business Pathway

The Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Framework: Working with Business pathway focuses on developing interactions with a business audience.  Please see previous blog posts in the Development Framework for information on the separate pathways.

The aim of the ‘Working with Business’ pathway is to develop your skills to connect with the business community including networking, identifying project funding – including Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and building project teams involving businesses.  Sessions have been planned with these key areas as a focus.

Further information on this pathway will appear on the OD website including booking links over the summer.  Updates on this pathway and the wider RKE Development Framework will appear on the BU research blog.

Technology in the hands