AHRC/EPSRC: Research and Partnership Development call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences

Digifest VR by Jisc CC BY-NC-ND

AHRC and EPSRC have recently announced a call to develop a research programme to bring together organisations within the creative economy with researchers from both the arts and humanities communities and beyond:

Research and Partnership Development call for the Next Generation of Immersive Experiences

“This is not a technology-only research programme, nor one exploring interfaces but a programme to explore the new technology-enabled, multi-sensory, narrative, interpretative, and performance experiences that will drive future creative and commercial value. This will require interdisciplinary working between the Arts and Humanities and other disciplines from Psychology to Engineering, and inter-sector working between researchers, creative practitioners, and businesses.”

They would like proposals addressing this call to focus on:

  • Memory – how can new immersive experiences extend the access, interpretation and reach of memorybased institutions such as museum, galleries, archives and collections?
  • Place – what new experiences can be created by the combination of immersive technology and place based services?
  • Performance – what new creative practices are enabled by immersive technology, what new experiences can be offered to audiences and how can this transform or extend models of performance?

Applications are invited for a total full economic costs of up to £75,000 and lasting between 6 and 9 months. The deadline for proposals is 5th October 2017. Full details are given in the call document.

There are briefing events happening this week and next, and there is a webinar next Friday: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/ahrc-and-epsrc-13956090539

Please contact us if you’re interested in applying to this call.


Inclusive technology prize

Nesta are collaborating with Innovate UK, the Office for Disability Issues, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Irwin Mitchell to invite proposals for the inclusive technology prize. Up to £50,000 is available and the aim is to inspire technological innovation from individuals and small businesses to improve or develop assistive living aids, adaptations, products and systems that will make a real difference to the lives of disabled people.

Here’s what Nesta says about the reason for offering the prize:

There are over 12.2 million people with a limiting long term illness or impairments in Great Britain. The prevalence of disability rises with age. Many disabled people rely on assisted living technologies to support them in their everyday lives.

But there is a strong view that the development and manufacture of aids, adaptations and products has not kept pace with the use of new technologies, materials and design and manufacturing processes seen in other areas (sport-related products for disabled people being the notable exception).

Innovations must involve co-creation with disabled people and can relate to any aspect of life including, but not limited to, education, home, leisure, transport and work.

Closing date: 16 Jan 15

Deadline information: Proposals due by 12 noon.

Further information including How to Submit an Idea can be found here.



Consultation for FET Proactive Topics open until 30th June

Any idea by Massimo Barbieri CC BY-SAThe EC’s public consultation on Horizon 2020’s Future and Emerging Technologies Proactive topics has been extended until the 30th June, 2014.

FET is part of Horizon 2020 and funds “visionary and exploratory” research opening up avenues to promising new technologies. The consultation is organised as a series of discussions, in which contributors can suggest ideas for a new FET Proactive initiative or discuss the 9 research topics identified in the previous consultation to determine whether they are still relevant today.

Some of the new ideas proposed so far include “Zero power computers”, “Nanoarchitectronics”, and “ICT Art Connect”, which looks at how we could bring the power of creative art into the domain of computer science.

The ideas identified by the previous consultation include: Bottom-up intelligent construction: how to make objects grow or self-assemble; Knowing, doing and being: how to explore the fundamental concepts of knowledge; and Quantum technologies.

This consultation will inform the 2016-17 work programme, so you are strongly encouraged to take part. Three of the previously identified topics were included in the 2014-15 work programme, so this is your chance to shape the future of Horizon 2020 and visionary science in Europe.

UPDATE: If you’re interested in applying to this round of FET, UKRO, the Knowledge Transfer Network and the UK’s FET National Contact Point are hosting a joint workshop on 8th July at BIS Conference Centre in London. These events usually book out very quickly, so I’d advise you to book quickly in order to guarantee a place.


Assistive, Adaptive, Rehabilitative Technologies Sandpit

Eye_orbit_anatomy_anterior2 by Patrick J. Lynch CC BY 2.5EPSRC has recently announced a call for participants for its Assistive, Adaptive and Rehabilitative Technologies Sandpit, scheduled to take place 1st – 5th September 2014:

“The EPSRC is running a sandpit in the broad area of assistive and rehabilitative devices in order to try to engender a radical change in the research undertaken in this field in the UK.

The sandpit will be focussed on key research challenges within the sphere of intelligent and intentional assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative technologies. The challenges in this field are likely to need highly multidisciplinary solutions, hence we are offering researchers from a wide range of disciplines the opportunity to come together to innovate scientific and technological solutions to identifiable user needs.”

It is expected that up to £5M of EPSRC funding will be made available to fund projects arising from this sandpit. The deadline for the call to attend the sandpit is noon on the 5th June 2014 and the application is submitted online via the EPSRC website, rather than via Je-S: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/funding/calls/2014/Pages/rehabilitativesandpit.aspx

Key challenges participants may be interested in could include (but are not restricted to):

  • New robotic components and solutions for prosthetics and rehabilitative devices (including sensory devices);
  • Bio-mechatronics;
  • New user-device interfacing and integration approaches;
  • Automatic identification of user intention;
  • ‘Learning’ and self-optimising devices;
  • Better understanding and design of the physical fit of a device;
  • New manufacturing approaches for personalised device;
  • Sustainability in terms of both manufacturing and device power and efficiency;
  • Use of new materials for assistive or rehabilitative devices;
  • Integration of evidence of device efficacy into design.

Participants will also be encouraged to consider how their proposed solutions fit into the clinical context “including the measurement and achievement of improved treatment, the importance of acceptability and user perceptions of technology, consideration of the affordability or cost-effectiveness of an innovation, and the extent to which personalisation or user-centred design can improve the efficacy of a device and the level of patient compliance.”

All interested applicants are encouraged to make early contact with their Research Funding and Policy Manager and Research and Innovation Lead to discuss their proposal.


Samsung Global Research Outreach Call Open

Digital drugs binaural beat by digitalbob8The 2014 Samsung Global Research Outreach call is now open. The call is open to all “world-class university researchers” and there are a range of themes relevant to Samsung and its products, see below for a sample and check the website for the full list:

2014 Samsung GRO Program

The deadline for submission of applications is 13th June 2014, 9AM (Korea Standard Time, UTC+9). Awards are usually in the region of $70K-$100K.

Sensor Technology Non-invasive mobile sensor and platform
Mental Healthcare / User Interface by Brain Wave Information
IPS (Indoor Positioning System) Algorithm Technique
Machine Learning & Recognition Cognitive Scene Understanding and Applications
Authentication by User Behavior
Predictive Analysis to Influence Behavioral Change using Biometrics Data
Fast Parallel and Distributed Framework for Deep Learning
Robust Face Recognition Algorithm in Surveillance
Next Generation Computing High-Speed Graphics Modeling&Simulation
Ultra-Low Power Computing Platform for Wearable IoT Devices
Big Data and Networks Massive QAM Scheme for 100Gbps Wireless Communication
Device Centric Data Stream Management for Wearable/IoT Devices
Data Processing Algorithm for Large-Scale Data Visualization
Data Reduction during Network Transfer using New Deduplication/Compression Method
Low Cost Scalable Content Delivery Architecture
Security Secured Media – Seamless D2D/D2S Media Security
Functional Materials 2D Material
Thermal Management Materials
Anti-reflection Coating Technology
Self Healing Materials
Antifouling Coating Materials
Lead-Free Piezoelectric Materials for Actuator Applications
Hexaferrite Particle of Single Magnetic Domain Size
Premold Leadframe Substrates for MEMS Sensor Packaging
Novel Hard coating Materials on Optical Substrate


Music, Mind, Brain, and Way of Life

L0027293 The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biomProfessor Nigel Osborne (MBE, FRCM) and Dr Clarence Adoo (MBE) will be visiting the University to deliver a seminar on Music, Mind, Brain, and Way of Life.

Professor Osborne is a former Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University and a world authority on music and the brain, and Dr Adoo is an Education Animateur with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Northumbria University. Both will speak about the profound effect music has on humans. They will explore the complexities of music, mind, society and the application of technology in a therapeutic context.

The event takes place on 17th December, 2013 from 3-4.30pm in Rutherford Hall, Ellison Building on the University’s Newcastle city campus. Places are limited, please contact Dr Petia Sice to register and for more information.

This is the first in a series of seminars hosted by the Wellbeing, Complexity and Enterprise research group at Northumbria University on the theme of Science, Music, Art, Resourcefulness and Technology (SMART) in Wellbeing.


Horizon 2020 Information Days and Brokerage Events

horizon2020In preparation for the launch of the new EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, there are a number of information days and partner brokerage events coming up in the fields of key enabling technologies, energy and under Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials.

Details are below. We will continue to add details of future events of potential interest to Northumbria researchers as we receive them.

EU Brokerage Event on Key Enabling Technologies in Horizon 2020, 29 November 2013, Strasbourg

The EU Brokerage Event on Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) in Horizon 2020 will focus on:

  • Nanotechnologies
  • Advanced materials
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Processing
  • Energy efficiency in Buildings
  • Factories of the Future
  • Sustainable process industries

Participants will have the opportunity to present their own project concepts and to meet representatives from companies/SMEs, universities and research organisations in order to exchange ideas during pre-arranged meetings. In your profile you can state what kind of technology/product/expertise you are offering, what kind of cooperation you are looking for and which ideas you would like to discuss with potential collaboration partners.

The aim is to pave the way for future co-operations and European projects including Horizon 2020 call topics for 2014 and 2015. More information and registration details are available from the workshop website.

Horizon 2020 Energy Information Day for 2014 and 2015 calls, 5 December 2013, Brussels.

This event will give essential information on the calls for proposals which will be open in 2014 and 2015. These calls are expected to cover Energy Efficiency, Competitive Low Carbon Energy and Smart Cities and Communities. Activities extend from research to market including activities build on the experience of the previous Intelligent Energy Europe Programme in facilitating market uptake of energy technologies and services, fostering of social innovation and accelerating the cost effective implementation of the Union’s energy policies.

It will be an excellent networking opportunity for potential participants as well as a chance to understand the new rules for participation under Horizon 2020.

The deadline for registration is 28 November 2013. Please note that this event is expected to be heavily over-subscribed. You can register here. https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fmi/scic/ENERINFO13/start.php

EU Brokerage Event for the first Horizon 2020 Energy calls, 6 December 2013, Brussels

To support participation in the calls outlined in the event above, on the following day a Brokerage Event for the first Horizon 2020 Energy calls will be held. It aims to target a wide spectrum of companies, universities and researchers from Europe and beyond and will support the creation of consortia for the upcoming Horizon 2020 Energy calls on the 3 focus areas:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Competitive Low Carbon Energy
  • Smart Cities and Communities

The event is free of charge. The deadline for registration is 20 November.

Information day on Horizon 2020 2014 calls in Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials, 17 November 2013, Brussels.

The European Commission is holding an InfoDay on 12 November on the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials. The event aims to explain the 2014-2015 Work Programme and will provide guidance on the preparation and submission of proposals under the 2014 calls.

Registration for this event has closed but if you are interested, you can watch the event online. More information



NEMODE: Digital Economy Small Grants Available

Living on credit cards by Images of Money CC BY 2.0Those who were interested in yesterday’s post about a recent EPSRC call for New Economic Models for the Digital Economy may be interested in the open call for NEMODE 3K small grants [PDF].

NEMODE is one of four RCUK-funded networks within the Digital Economy theme: “NEMODE’s research domain is multi-disciplinary; it includes for example, considerations of the latest technological developments through computer science, operations research and data analytics, marketing, social anthropology, behavioural psychology and operations management.”

Part of its remit is to fund small research grants and placements activity. To this end they have an open (i.e. no deadline) call for small scale research projects of no more than 3 months duration and £3K FEC. NEMODE has identified a number of sub-themes which it is interested in funding through this call, including:

  • The concept of value in the digital economy
  • Intellectual property issues in the digital economy
  • Privacy, consent, security and trust in the digital economy
  • Virtual property
  • Crowd funding

The expected outputs of a 3 month grant would be, for example, a case study with associated literature review or a technical report, as appropriate to the topic selected. Applications are a maximum of 2 pages, written to two simple headings given in the guidance notes [PDF].

Although there are no formal deadlines, there are a number of review dates throughout the year when applications will be considered. These are: 1st Feb, 1st June, 1st Sept, 1st Dec.

In addition to the 3K small grants outlined above, NEMODE also has a “call for interest” in digital currency inspired by David Wolman’s BBC piece on the end of cash. They are currently seeking informal expressions of interest via email. See their calls page to find out more.


New Economic Models in the Digital Economy

Bitcoin by Zach Copley CC BY-SAEPSRC has recently released a call for proposals to support cross-disciplinary research on new economic models in the digital economy. EPSRC are specifically targeting business schools and economics researchers, which it says have been under-represented in existing grants:

New Economic Models in the Digital Economy


The digital economy challenges the way organisations work and do business. New technologies have revolutionized the way people relate to one another and are challenging traditional economic models and boundaries, as well as providing potential opportunities to create new ways of doing business: “To realise the economic potential of new technology, high quality research at the interfaces between the digital economy, economics and management sciences will be required and is of strategic importance to the UK.”

How do I apply?

There is £3.5M available in the call, which opened earlier this month and closes on 28th June. This is an invitation for outline proposals, and is not being run through Je-S. Applicants must fill in a short form with basic details of applicants, costs and project title as well as a three-page case for support, and send to EPSRC via email before the deadline. However, it’s worth noting that even outline applications should be properly costed before submission, so please contact RBS at an early stage if you intend to apply.

What are they looking for?

They want to see a mix of “people-based” networking and research activities which “complement the work of the DET Network+ ‘New Economic Models in the Digital Economy’” as well as the previously funded Digital Economy grants. The challenges to be addressed in this call are:

  • The Digital Economy and financial services
  • Collaborative consumption
  • Personal data
  • ‘Incomplete’ products and ‘Platform’ offerings

Further details

There are full details in the online guidance notes [PDF]. Outlines must address one or more of these challenges otherwise they’ll be considered outside the remit of the call. It’s also important to note that proposals must include both people-based and research activities (defined in the call guidance notes), not just one or the other.

EPSRC expect to fund 5 grants, suggesting an indicative value of £500K – £1M per grant. This is borne out by the values of the funded grants from the previous round, the maximum value of which is £1.1M, and the mean value is £822K.

Given the interdisciplinary focus this is likely to involve multiple institutions in a single proposal. Further, given the fact that applications must include both people-based and research activities, this would suggest that a duration of 2-3 years would be expected, although EPSRC do not give any indication of maximum length. Again, this is borne out by reviewing durations of previously funded grants, which are all 2-3 years in length.

Another interesting factor to consider is the inclusion of project partners (i.e. non-academic organisations). Given the topics and direction of the call, it’s likely that inclusion of relevant and active project partners will strengthen a bid, although it’s interesting to note that numbers of partners in existing projects varies from 0-21 in any single project.

It’s always essential to consider track record when deciding which institution and PI will lead a bid. Note that all of the grants funded in the previous round were led by research intensives and often included several other strong research institutions in the consortium. There were only a few grants which were based entirely within a single institution, including Cambridge and Imperial.

In line with the interdisciplinary focus of the theme, various disciplines were represented in grants funded under the previous call, including computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, economics and social sciences. This will be essential for the current call, and again it’s worth noting that EPSRC are targeting economics and business researchers for this call.