The University of Bristol is leading a new £12m project to look at the use of sensors for healthcare in the home.
The SPHERE (Sensor Platform for HEalthcare in a Residential Environment) project will work in partnership with Bristol City Council, IBM, Toshiba and Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) as well as the Universities of Southampton and Reading
The collaboration will develop home sensor systems to monitor the health and wellbeing of people living at home.
The high-tech future of healthcare: a digital health assistant in your home The UK’s healthcare system faces unprecedented challenges. Britain is the most obese nation in Europe and the country’s ageing population is especially at risk from isolation, depression, strokes and fractures caused by falls in the home. A pioneering new collaboration aims to address these issues by developing a 24/7 digital home health assistant.
“SPHERE aims to have a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of people with a wide range of different health challenges,” said Professor Ian Craddock, Director of the collaboration and who will be leading the interdisciplinary team. “Families, carers, health and social services professionals involved in all stages of care will benefit from the system. SPHERE will address real world challenges by developing a practical technology to monitor people’s health in the home environment, targeting health concerns such as; obesity, depression, stroke, falls, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases. ”
“Although healthcare budgets and changing demographics are creating serious challenges, the latest technological advances can help society keep pace with this environment,” said Rodric Yates, Program Director in IBM’s Chief Technology Office. “We were pleased to be invited by the University of Bristol to join this important project and will contribute by drawing upon some of the best examples from around the world in healthcare sensing, medical data collection and analysis, and the delivery of healthcare systems. Improving patient care in a cost-effective way and helping people stay independent, for longer, is an objective we share with the University and the city.”
David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “New British technologies are transforming healthcare and saving lives. In future, our smart phones will tell us when we are ill, controlling the spread of infectious diseases. As healthcare challenges become more complex, our world-class scientists are of finding the next generation solutions.”
Cllr Barbara Janke, Cabinet Member for Connected Cities and Wellbeing said: “This is excellent news and further establishes Bristol’s reputation as a leader in smart technologies. This award means that we’ve now attracted £26 million over the last year in funding for high tech development.”
The collaboration’s vision is not to develop fundamentally-new sensor technologies for individual health conditions, but rather to impact all these healthcare needs simultaneously through data-fusion and pattern-recognition from a common platform of non-medical/environmental sensors at home. The system will be general-purpose, low-cost and accessible. Sensors will be entirely passive, requiring no action by the user and suitable for all patients, including the most vulnerable.
An example of SPHERE’s home sensor system could be to detect an overnight stroke or mini-stroke on waking, by detecting small changes in behaviour, expression and gait. It could also monitor a patient’s compliance with their prescribed drugs.
Importantly, SPHERE will work hand-in-hand with the local community through Bristol City Council and its partners at KWMC. Leading clinicians in heart surgery, orthopaedics, stroke and Parkinson’s disease, and recognised authorities on depression and obesity will also be involved with the project, along with the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, Bristol Health Partners and Bristol’s NIHR-funded Biomedical Research Units.
Professor Jeremy Tavaré, Deputy Director of the collaboration, comments: “The involvement of patients, carers, nurses and clinicians from the outset of this project will be key in ensuring acceptability of these exciting new technologies.” Once practical, user-friendly technologies have been developed further, they will be piloted in a large number of homes over extended periods of time. The University of Southampton has UK-leading expertise and lab facilities for studying movement in stroke and Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation, and also conducts research into falls and impaired balance.
Professional William Harwin in the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading, adds: “The production of ubiquitous and unobtrusive ‘passive sensors’ is a key constituent part of this project. These sensors could be embedded in clothing or jewellery, or more ambitiously implanted, possibly in association with remedial surgery. “Information from these sensors will monitor and track the signature movements of people in their homes and trigger a response in accordance with health needs. This will enable health care experts to respond as appropriate.”
The money awarded to the University of Bristol by the EPSRC is part of a wider package of £32 investment in three new healthcare IRCs. The other two projects are: Early-warning sensing systems for infectious diseases – next generation smartphone test and tracking systems for serious infections including new strains of influenza, MRSA and HIV – led by UCL (University College London) with Newcastle University, Imperial College London, and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Multiplexed ‘Touch and Tell’ Optical Molecular Sensing and Imaging – a fibre-optic device to detect potentially fatal lung conditions in intensive care patients, and to continuously monitor the blood in critically ill adults and babies without the need for blood sampling. This is led by the University of Edinburgh with Heriot-Watt University and the University of Bath.
The fund will start in January and is part of the new EC Horizon 2020 programme which also starts in 2014 and replaces FP7 and CIP. Crucially, a part of this support is aimed at entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs because these are seen as providing the engine for the economic recovery as, being nimble and fast, they can bring these new innovative technologies to market quickly.
However the details of how the fund will be dispersed have not yet been fully decided or how SMEs can apply. If this can be an open process that is easy to access it would be a dramatic shift in the opportunities for startups and SMEs, but the challenge is in the detail of the implementation
“The EC recognises that these small to medium sized companies are the champions of tomorrow and we want to help them grow and be successful,” said Pierre Marro, Policy Officer at the European Commission. “Currently, EC programmes and projects required several companies from a minimum of three different countries to co-operate. The new EC Horizon 2020 is being finalised at the moment. This is being designed to add a completely new package with simplified procedures and without these constraints of co-operations to specifically provide new technologies holders with help in starting and running companies right through to finance help. Lack of finance has been a stumbling block in the past due to the economic crisis, so a key new service in Horizon 2020 will be dedicated to providing access to finance with new instruments dedicated to SMEs and access to risk financing that will really help companies grow quickly and create new jobs and economic wealth.”
Tuesday 14th May 16:00 pm to 19:00 pm
Offices of Osborne Clarke, Central Bristol (Close to Temple Meads)
This event is aimed at the region’s Science and Technology businesses, sponsored by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Osborne Clarke LLP. All sizes of business are welcome to attend. Come and find out about funding opportunities for our region’s science and technology businesses. This workshop features speakers from the West of England LEP, Enterprise Europe Network/UKTI and Science City Bristol. They will provide you with information on a number of local and national funding opportunities including:
- Regional Growth Fund 3 Applications
- EU funding opportunities
- UKTI Business support
- South West Innovation Vouchers
Light refreshments will be available courtesy of our hosts at Osborne Clarke. For more information and to book a free place, go to:http://www.sciencecitybristol.
The April issue of the LEP High Tech sector group newsletter is out now:
Cisco moves into the region with $130m buy
New advisors for funding schemes in the region
New world leading centres for medical testing and energy harvesting
Bristol firm in £8m robotics project for nuclear industry
Consultancy helps lead £5m combat systems research
XMOS and Gnodal take on global players
For all this and more, register for email updates and download it from the newsletter page
Ubiquisys is a leading provider of intelligent 3G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) small-cell (or femtocell) technologies that provides seamless connectivity across mobile networks for service providers and this marks one of the largest European exits in recent months. It follows Mindspeed’s acquisition of picoChip in Bath, NVIDIA’s acquisition of Icera Semiconductor in Bristol and General Dynamics’ acquisition of IP Wireless in Chippenham, all in the wireless sector.
“The acquisition doesn’t just provide Cisco with Ubiquisys’ small cell knowhow; it also gives Cisco experience in working with a broader set of mobile operators,” said Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst at market analyst Ovum. “Ubiquisys provides Cisco much greater market credibility when it comes to 3G and LTE small cells. Cisco will also benefit by having greater control over Ubiquisys’ product development cycle, freeing Cisco from having to rely on the development cycle of third-party partners like IP access.
“Cisco is no stranger to small cells, but that has been primarily through its carrier Wi-Fi efforts,” said Schoolar. “In the licensed spectrum small cell space Cisco has basically been reliant on its femtocell relationship with AT&T. Outside of its work with AT&T, Cisco’s licensed small cell experience has been hard to find. Ubiquisys on the other hand has over 50 customers (vendors and operators) that include Softbank (Japan), SFR (France), and Network Norway. Ubiquisys’ small cell experience greatly bolsters Cisco’s small cell position.
The acquisition of Ubiquisys complements Cisco’s mobility strategy along with the recent acquisitions of BroadHop and Intucell, reinforcing in-house research and development, such as service provider Wi-Fi and licensed radio. These technologies will tie together the mobility architecture that leverages the intelligence of the network from the wireless edge of the network into the wired core.
As carriers around the world increase cellular data capacity to serve the rapidly growing population of smartphone and tablet users, adding small cells is one of the most cost-effective ways to multiply data capacity and make better use of scarce spectrum assets. Ubiquisys’ indoor small cells expertise and its focus on intelligent software for licensed 3G and LTE spectrum, coupled with Cisco’s mobility portfolio and its Wi-Fi expertise, will enable a comprehensive small cell solution to service providers that supports the transition to next generation radio access networks.
The acquisition of Ubiquisys further reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers and strengthens Cisco’s mobility capabilities to continue to extend the intelligent mobile network.
Ubiquisys’ product portfolio and team will be integrated into its Small Cell Technology Group led by Partho Mishra.
An innovative new centre for biomedical testing aims to provide leading edge research and skills to firms in the region working in medicine, pharmaceuticals and genetics.
The Centre for Alternative Testing and In-Vitro Monitoring (CATIM) is a consortium, led by the Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology, UWE Bristol with the other partners, the University of Bristol, Gooch and Housego, the European Collection of Cell Cultures, the NHS and the Humane Society International, bringing their complementary strengths to the project.
CATIM is cross faculty initiative led by Professors Richard Luxton and Janice Kiely which will specialise in the creation of new technologies that will detect and monitor changes in cell systems, critical for the development and evaluation of many new products, from chemicals to medical implants.
Backed by £896,000 from from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the centre at UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus aims to give access to advanced technology and expertise in the field of cell monitoring and alternative testing. One particular area of activity is the development of technology to reduce and replace animal testing.
Dr Bret Dash has been appointed as Centre Director. He is a bioscience professional with 16 years of experience working with multi-disciplined project teams in publicly funded global corporations and venture capital funded start-ups in the US and Europe. He has helped to develop and commercialise leading-edge technologies for the drug discovery, genomics, and clinical research markets based on high content cellular analysis, capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence, and laser capture micro dissection, respectively.
“When I started out as a Biochemistry student many of the techniques used at the time involved the use of lab animals. As a consequence I focused on learning cell biological techniques during my PhD because I was interested in alternative forms of biochemical research,” said Dash. “In-vitro testing using 2-D or 3-D cell cultures enables researchers to create experimental test systems that do not require the use of living organisms. In-vitro work is all about looking for methods that will provide viable alternatives to animal testing and it is a growing industry.”
“Over the coming years I will be working with our key partners at generating research projects and attracting world class academics to build a major centre for this growing research area. It’s very exciting to be here at the beginning and there is enormous potential for collaborations that can make a positive difference in testing methods used across a range of industries.”
Businesses from many sectors – from biomedical and agri-food to advanced engineering – may benefit from access to the Centre’s sophisticated resources and technical support; for example, with designing a test programme, developing skills in testing, or new product development.
A £1.5 million project aims to create a focus for innovation and creative industries in the Bristol and bath region.
The Engine Shed, which was built by Brunel and previously housed the Empire and Commonwealth Museum at the entrance to Bristol Temple Meads station, will host Bristol’s business incubator and inward investment team as well as 20 companies.
The University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Eric Thomas and Bristol Mayor George Ferguson signed the agreement today [11 March] at a symbolic ceremony to signify the start of a new chapter for the Grade I listed building, which is set to become a focal point for Bristol’s drive to generate inward investment and encourage a new generation of high growth businesses. A planning application has yet to be agreed though.
The building will be managed by Bristol SETsquared – the University’s double award-winning business incubator – who will take the majority of the space to provide premium serviced offices for its early-stage technology businesses.
Around 20 companies will move in here with a further 40 businesses using the business centre’s resources and facilities including hot desks, breakout spaces and meeting rooms. In total, there will be space for 120 people.
It will also provide the headquarters for the newly launched Invest in Bristol and Bath, accommodating representatives from the four West of England Unitary Authority areas, and act as a ‘shopfront’ for potential investors in the region. It will also become the local base for UK Trade & Investment.
Core to the Engine Shed will be a business lounge and co-working and collaboration spaces for academics, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and business leaders.
“Bristol is repeatedly recognised as having significantly high potential for economic growth and the intellectual capital provided by world-renowned research and the activities of some of the country’s highest performing students go a long way to supporting this,” said Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol.
Nick Sturge, Director of the Bristol SETsquared Centre which is currently based at University Gate East in Clifton, hopes the move to the Engine Shed will allow it to support even more businesses and in turn create a predicted 750 jobs over the next five years.
“It’s great to be heading up the Engine Shed facility and bringing together so many groups, from companies and entrepreneurs to academics and students,” he said. “Everyone involved has a huge sense of excitement for what can be achieved in this great building. The additional space will literally allow Bristol SETsquared to grow and we hope it will become an active hub of world-class innovation and enterprise activity – located within what is arguably one of the UK’s most connected transport hubs.”
A planning application has been submitted for the Engine Shed, which is likely to be dealt with in the next few months. It was built in 1841 as the original shed for the turning of engines when they came through the Passenger Shed on the London to Bristol line.
Colin Skellett, Chairman of the West of England LEP, said: “After months of planning, it is exciting to see the birth of the Engine Shed project. City marketing must be joined up. By bringing together all our investment specialists we are creating a formidable resource to attract new jobs.
“Entrepreneurial, high growth businesses are the lifeblood of our economic growth. What better place to inspire them than Brunel’s Engine Shed. Set on the direct line to London and onto Europe, this will be an exciting focus for innovation.”
The Engine Shed will form part of the new Bristol and Bath and Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, which will span 173 acres of land around Bristol Temple Meads train station and includes plans for a long-awaited indoor arena, new public spaces and a vibrant business, commercial and shopping district. Temple Meads station will also be completely refurbished.
It’s anticipated that the new Enterprise Zone will create 17,000 new jobs and bring 400 new companies to the city over the next two decades.
George Ferguson said: “What better springboard for our plans for the Enterprise Zone than the launch of this important project. It is very good to see this serious, solid progress on the ground. Now we need to get out and tell Europe and the rest of the world that Bristol’s open for business.”
Other key partners in the Engine Shed project are Network Rail and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), both of whom are key delivery partners for Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.
With funding from the HCA, the city council bought the freehold for Brunel’s Old Station in March 2012, from the Empire and Commonwealth Museum.
Network Rail is currently working on the masterplan for the redevelopment of Temple Meads station, which includes bringing back into use part of the Old Station and Engine Shed. They have modified their plans to enable the Engine Shed development to go ahead.
Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail Western Route Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted that Brunel’s iconic Old Station is being transformed for 21st century use. As well as meeting our needs for a redeveloped station, it’s great that the Engine Shed is going to be turned into a high-tech business hub and home for the new Invest in Bristol and Bath service.”
The first models of a new electronic musical instrument – the AlphaSphere ‘elite’ – will be dispatched to locations all across the world this week after a year long development.
The Bristol based developer nu desine has been taking pre-orders since April 2012 based on interest which was generated by a production prototype being demonstrated at a trade fair in March 2012.
As pre-orders started coming in, the team of young engineers refined the prototype into a premium instrument which retails at £1,000 through the website – alphasphere.com.
Though one third of the AlphaSphere elites will stay in the UK, the rest are shipping to the USA, Europe and Japan. The rapidly growing company have now initiated full production of the first several hundred units, in order to fulfill a second round of orders.
Despite the imminent shipping, development has only just concluded. “We were overwhelmed by pre-orders pretty much as soon as we announced the device, and had to move quickly in order to satisfy them” said nu desine’s founder Adam Place “just a single prototype was enough to sell the concept to the world, so it’s going to be really interesting to find out what happens when there are a few more out there.”
Amongst the first elite musicians is Mercury award winning composer Talvin Singh, who described the AlphaSphere as “an incredible universe of an instrument which gives you the feeling to tailor-make tones, aesthetically and sonically, as well as allowing you the capacity to invest in more indigenous and rebellious scale systems.” Talvin who this year is releasing his first new solo album since the acclaimed ‘OK’, first met the team behind the AlphaSphere in late 2012 at their site at Bristol’s harbourside as part of a user testing program.
Production run has taken place entirely in Bristol, though components have been sourced from across the world. The company is now transferring the production process to a facility in Hartlepool, which has a higher capacity than their Bristol HQ.
nu desine are located within the Pervasive Media Studio and also members of The Bristol SETsquared Centre – a good example of the creative and technology sector in Bristol creating exciting new products. ”The Alphasphere has been an exciting project to work with over the last couple of years and we are delighted to see this shipping globally. Most of the companies we work with are
‘born global’ and this confirms it,” said Nick Sturge, Centre Director of The Bristol SETsquared Centre.
XMOS Semiconductor in Bristol is launching a new chip that dramatically reduces the cost of processing for industrial designs.
The xCORE XS1-L4-64 integrates four 32bit processor cores at a price under $3 that is comparable with competing single-core devices but gives ten times the processing power. The devices are used in a wide range of applications, from Sennheiser sound equipment to the latest industrial robots.
“The xCORE L4 offers 400MIPS performance at the price point of other manufacturers’ 40 or 50MIPS products,” said Ali Dixon, Director of Product Marketing and co-founder of XMOS. “Embedded designers working on high-volume applications can now add more features, including those that require real-time determinism, with software that is functionally safe. We believe it’s a real game-changer.”
Priced at just $2.95 in 100‑unit quantities through global distributors, the L4 provides an entry-level platform for designers considering multicore technology for the first time. It is pin-compatible with other members of the xCORE family, opening up the opportunity to cost reduce existing designs.
The new device is aimed at accurate stepper motor control, industrial networking and motion control. With 64bit precision DSP capability, it is also particularly well suited for signal conditioning tasks and applications such as control that combine cost-sensitivity with high performance demands. The xCORE L4 will also help drive the growing trend towards distributed intelligence in embedded design, by allowing developers to locate low-cost processing and communications closer to system nodes such as sensors and actuators.
“The L4 breaks new ground by combining low unit cost, real-time deterministic execution, multicore performance, on-chip DSP and the industry’s fastest response times,” said Nigel Toon, President and CEO, XMOS. “At 400 MIPS it offers a price/performance ratio unbeaten in the world of C-programmable embedded devices. Just as importantly, we provide the design tools engineers need to harness this performance – making the move to multicore technology an instinctive and natural experience.”
The XS1-L4-64 comes in a 48-pin package that is pin-compatible with the existing devices with 64Kbytes of SRAM, the 6-core L6-64 and the 8-core L8-64. This allows designers to take a platform-based approach that permits early implementation of emerging technologies and standards, future-proofing and the addition of new features as requirements evolve. The device continues the XMOS strategy of offering a range of devices at a variety of price points; the xCORE family now includes more than 50 product variants.
Like the rest of the xCORE family, the L4 is supported with the free-to-download xTIMEcomposer development suite that includes compilers, debuggers and unique timing analysis and instrumentation capabilities. The supporting xSOFTip library of soft peripherals and processing blocks provides peripherals such as high speed USB, Ethernet, CAN and LIN via software.
Samples of the XS1-L4-64 are available today, with volume production expected in Q2 2013.
A specialist microscope developed and built in Gloustershire is being used in new research that addresses one of the major hindrances to the wider exploitation of graphene: the difficulty in growing large defect-free films.
The Renishaw inVia Raman microscope is being used by an international team—led by Oxford University scientists Professor Nicole Grobert and Adrian Murdock— in collaboration with Renishaw and researchers from the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany and University of Ioannina in Greece to examine film thickness, strain and defects in graphene films.
Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms and was the first two dimensional material to be discovered. It has very interesting electronic and mechanical properties; it is one of the most conductive materials known to science and has a breaking strength 100 times greater than steel.
Typically, when graphene is grown using chemical vapour deposition (CVD), the individual graphene flakes merge with a variety of different orientations, creating defects. In this work, titled ‘Controlling the Orientation, Edge Geometry and Thickness of Chemical Vapour Deposition Graphene’, and published in the journal ACS Nano, it was found that the orientation of the underlying copper substrate could be used to guide the graphene flakes so they are aligned, and these defects are prevented.
“The inVia Raman spectrometer is a very powerful tool for investigating the properties of graphene. This work gives a much better understanding of CVD graphene growth, which will be important for manufacturing graphene on an industrial scale,” said Dr Tim Batten, Raman applications specialist at Renishaw.
In 2006 Professor Andrea Ferrari (University of Cambridge), used a Renishaw Raman spectrometer to conduct the first Raman characterisation of graphene. He used samples from its discoverers, Nobel Prize winners Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov (University of Manchester). Since then, researchers worldwide have used data from Renishaw Raman systems in hundreds of scientific papers on graphene, greatly assisting in the understanding and development of this amazing material.
Nemesis project to explore energy harvesting
The University of Bath has received £2.27m to create a new world-leading centre for energy harvesting and generation.
The Centre aims to create new piezoelectric and ferroelectric energy harvesting systems capable of converting mechanical vibrations into electrical energy, thermal fluctuations into electrical energy, sunlight into chemical and electrical energy, and vibrations into chemical energy.
Having a focus centre on energy harvesting can boost developments in clean tech, power systems and chip design, all of which are strong in the region.
“Setting up a world-leading research centre here in the UK will put us at the forefront of this increasingly important field of work,” said head of the new centre, Professor Chris Bowen. ” The new Centre brings together experts in from different disciplines, including materials, physics, chemistry and electrical engineering, offering an ideal environment in which to develop new and innovative solutions to generating and harvesting energy.”
One work stream in the Centre will look at novel materials that are capable of harvesting the vibrations of machines or vehicles and converting the energy into electricity. This electricity can then be used to power devices within a vehicle or machine, including damage sensors or consumer electronics.
Another stream aims to develop new methods for water splitting – separating water into hydrogen and oxygen. The process of splitting water to create clean-burning hydrogen fuel has long been the Holy Grail for clean energy advocates.
“As we continually strive to create safer and more efficient machines and vehicles, the need to power sensors that can safely sit in potentially very hot and hostile environments near the engine, where batteries would be unsafe or impractical, has increased,” said Bowen. “Clean energies are also a high priority for modern society, and through our research we aim to create nano-structured ferroelectric and piezoelectric materials that can be used to split water, creating clean, environmentally-friendly hydrogen fuel.”
“This is an increasingly important area of research and Professor Bowen’s unique expertise in piezoelectric and ferroelectric material, along with the University of Bath’s track-record of high impact materials research, has been recognised by the ERC in their decision to fund this Centre,” said Professor Jane Millar, Pro Vice Chancellor for Research.
The Centre will fund visiting researchers at the University, and interaction with other leading academics working in ferroelectrics and energy harvesting such as Prof. John Wang of NUS, Singapore and Prof. Vitaly Topolov of Rostov State University.
A smaller version of the Raspberry Pi computer built in South Wales is driving the cost to under $25 for portable and low cost media centres.
element14 has announced the launch of the new credit card sized Raspberry Pi Model A board in Europe, selling at under $25. It uses the same 700MHz ARM1176 Broadcom BCM2835 processor (Boradcom has a design centre in Bristol) but only 256MB of RAM is included as standard, there is no Ethernet connection and only one USB port, but it does use considerably less energy for battery-powered applications.
The larger Model B sold over 500,000 units and demand for the Model A board is anticipated to be from those making industrial control modules, from robotics, automation, and significantly, to use the Pi as a very cheap media centre.
In recent weeks element14 has launched two exclusive accessories to support the development of new applications and uses: The Gertboard, a flexible experimenter board that connects the Raspberry Pi out to the physical world, and PiFace, which allows the user to sense and control the real world. Both are available to buy to supplement activity on the Raspberry Pi and can be used with the Model A and Model B boards.
“The Model A board is the next item in the Raspberry Pi range to be manufactured exclusively in Wales by Sony in partnership with element14,” said Claire Doyle, Global Head of Raspberry Pi at element14. “Being a part of the Raspberry Pi revolution is something we are very proud of as computer science and programming skills are key to ensure future generations of design engineers.”
The Model A board costs $25 (£15.95) plus tax and shipping, and is available today through Farnell element14 in Europe and CPC in the UK and Ireland. Further countries will be added in the coming weeks.
A new publication is now covering the high tech activities in the wider Bristol and Bath region from the Future Smart City to the latest chip developments.
HighTech News comes from the High Tech Sector group of the West of England Local Economic Partnership (LEP). The group supports the wide range of activities in microelectronics and embedded software and systems and feeds back into the LEP that determines the wider strategies for growth and development in the region. The West of England is the only LEP to have a group specifically focussed on technology, demonstrating the strength and skills in the region.
The six page February issue covers new funding for Future City developments, as well as a proposed £24m growth fund for innovation in the region. New technology centres are being set up by power company TDK-Lambda and subsea technology from GE. Bristol silicon chip maker XMOS is now supplying the widest range of multicore microcontrollers in the industry, while the Universities of Bath and Exeter are collaborating in a joint graphene research centre.
High Tech News is published by SW Innovation News.
While Bristol lost out to Glasgow for the Future City demonstrator project, the TSB judges rated the city’s bid very highly, so much so that they have awarded a £3m ‘runners-up’ prize.
“While there is some disappointment that we did not gain the main prize, Bristol is now the only city in the UK to have won funding from Government to be both a Super Connected City and a Future City.” said Mayor George Ferguson. “Bringing these awards together gives us a pot of nearly £15m with which we can move really quickly to lever-in additional funding and support from business to help deliver our plans.”
“We are fast becoming the UK’s creative capital, a city of experimentation and a city that offers a warm welcome,” he said. “Our achievement in beating more than 30 other cities to win government funding for Future Cities is testament to our ambitions and our strong partnership approach with both the city’s universities, businesses and partners such as Watershed and Knowle West Media Centre.”
A round up of the tech news from the Bristol and Bath region is in February edition of the the new LEP High Tech newsletter
The key investment is £189 million for big data and energy efficient computing to build on the research base’s capacity for analysing big data sets, in areas like earth observation and medical science, but there are other significant areas of funding.
There is a £35 million for centres of excellence in robotics and autonomous systems aiming to bring together the research base and industry. The Bristol Robotics Lab is the largest in Europe and at the forefront of such developments. Science and universities minister David Willetts (right) also announced a £1m Technology Strategy Board competition to help to accelerate the development of concepts where robots are able to interact with each other and humans.
There will also be £25 million of additional funding for the National Space Technology Programme for the development of commercial products and services using space technology and data from space-based systems which can benefit space technology companies in the region such as SciSys in Bristol.
There is also £45 million for new facilities and equipment for advanced materials research in areas of UK strength such as advanced composites, high-performance alloys, low-energy electronics and telecommunications, as well as £28 million to the National Composites Centre in Bristol.
In newer areas such as smart grid, the government plans to invest £30 million to create dedicated R&D facilities to develop and test new grid scale storage technologies, an area where the region is strong withthe Low Carbon South West group.
The Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter today announced a formal collaboration, to boost research expertise and capability in the South West of England and Wales.
The collaboration will explore and identify opportunities for combined research to address global challenges, while also maximising the impact of and return on investment from research funding.
The group of four research intensive universities, each of which have significant research capabilities and which represent a total turnover in excess of £1,300 million, will be known as the GW4. There are already strong partnerships across the four institutions and the collaboration seeks to build on these.
Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “Regional groupings of research intensive universities are a rapidly emerging and important evolution, enabling the sharing of research infrastructure and the identification of thematic areas of expertise. These will be increasingly important in order for universities to address grand intellectual and societal challenges.”
Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath, said: “The collective strength of the new grouping is much more than the sum of its individual parts. Taken together, the breadth and depth of our research expertise is truly impressive providing a powerful new contender in the increasingly intense competition for research funding on both the national and international level.”
Cardiff University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, said: “We want to enhance Cardiff’s world-leading research and reputation by creating a critical mass of research excellence with other UK universities. In a competitive higher education sector we need to find new ways for Wales to compete for research income.
“Working in collaboration with fellow research-intensive Universities will help us to succeed in research and tackle some of society’s biggest research challenges. Critical mass is the key to success and the combined research excellence of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter will give Cardiff – and Wales – a new and competitive edge that will place us at the forefront not only in the UK, but internationally.”
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “This is a vital development for ensuring the growth and development of world class research in the South West and Wales. It gives us the critical mass and the quality to succeed in an increasingly competitive and research-intensive environment. The four universities already have a strong tradition of working together and GW4 will take that collaboration to a new level.”
Bristol has lost out to Glasgow for the £24m Future City demonstrator, with the affluence of the region being a key factor.
“Glasgow has some quite extreme challenges – it has the lowest life expectancy of any city in the UK for instance – and the hope is that if we bring together energy, transport, public safety and health it will make it more efficient and a better place to live,” said Scott Cain, the TSB’s project leader for Future Cities, talking to the BBC.
That view was backed up by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. “With more people than ever before living in our cities, they need to be able to provide people with a better quality of life and a thriving economy,” he said. “From transport systems to energy use and health, this demonstrator will play a key part in the government’s industrial strategy and give real insight into how our cities can be shaped in the future,” he added.
£300,000 from the EU for two projects as part of its Smart City Programme.
“Industry expectations have been overturned throughout this competition, and this result, too, will surprise many,” said Joe Dignan, Chief analyst for European Public Sector at market researcher Ovum. Initially, the smart money was on Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds + Bradford or Manchester to scoop the prize, given their level of preparation. However, only Bristol joined the shortlist alongside Glasgow, Peterborough and London. Peterborough was considered the wild card, while most felt London had already been given more than its fair share of the public purse in the lead up to the Olympics.
“Glasgow’s success reflects a global trend in the development of future cities being presaged by a major global event. Although it was considered the outsider in this race, its preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games was the catalyst to get the right people around the table to look at the performance of the city as a whole,” he added. ” There is no doubt that the judging process was objective and Glasgow’s bid excellent, but one can be sure that Westminster is happy to show its commitment to Scotland at the current time.”
The demonstrator will include better services for Glaswegians, with real-time information about traffic and apps to check that buses and trains are on time. The council will also create an app for reporting issues such as potholes and missing bin collections.
It will use analytical software and security cameras to help identify and prevent crime in the city and monitor energy levels to find new ways of providing gas and electricity to poorer areas where fuel poverty is a big issue.
Lamp posts, bus stops and post boxes will soon play an even more important role in how Bristol operates as the result of a £30,000 award which will change the way people interact with the city.
The Watershed has announced Hello Lamp Post! as the winner of Bristol’s first ever Playable City Award, which attracted 93 entries from around the world.
The new art and technology project invites audiences to tune in to the secret conversations of the city and communicate through lamp posts, bus stops, post boxes and other street furniture this summer. Part game, part story, anyone can play by texting in a unique code found on the city’s familiar street objects.
“Hello Lamp Post! is hugely exciting and the University is pleased to support this fantastic initiative which supports Bristol’s rightful place on the global cultural map,” said David Alder, Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Bristol
Lamp posts, bus stops and post boxes are the goosebumps of the city and so ubiquitous that they have become invisible. The ‘smart city’ approach is to augment them with technologies like digital displays, but Hello Lamp Post! seeks instead to make them playable, using existing city infrastructure to make an open, hospitable and playful experience which encourages people to notice and interact with what is around them.
The project will utilise the codes that city councils and public servants use to tell one object from another when a light bulb needs changing or a bus stop is in need of repair. For the first time, city dwellers will be able to use these codes too in order to play a game and tell a story.
The £30,000 commission seeks to create an original, future-facing work, which uses creative technology to explore the theme of the playable city and is supported by a network of organisations who exemplify Bristol’s strength in creative technologies, including the University of Bristol which acts as a partner and ambassador for the project.
A series of 3D scanning booths scattered throughout the city. Scan your body and see it play in the city’s augmented reality museum of life.
Inviting the residents of Bristol to rediscover their spirit of playfulness. By bursting some balloons.
An interactive pavilion, constructed using 3D scans of personal objects provided by the public, representing the different relationships people have with the city.
Tumbling out of a tip-up truck comes huge building blocks, all colours and shapes. Build your dream city, knock it down, and then build it again.
The city is waking up. Lamp posts, bus stops, post boxes and more: all are rising from their slumber. They have questions, and they need answers.
An ‘album’ installed in a series of spaces throughout the city. Part light installation, part musical performance and part generative interface.
Explore Bristol while solving a murder mystery – even on rainy days. All you need is a Jolly Brolly, a clever umbrella that serves as your game assistant and guide.
A network of lightweight, robust digital screens situated around Bristol inviting passers-by to get involved and play.
A street game that blends public space, collaboration and a swarm of little wheeled robots.
Digital songbirds are placed in trees, rooftops, alleys. Tweet them and hear your messages as beautiful bird song.
One of the team behind the Raspberry Pi £25 computer is coming to @Bristol tomorrow evening to talk to kids in the region.
The Bristol chapter of the British Computing Society has invited Rob Bishop, 22, from the Raspberry Pi Foundation in Cambridge to talk about the joy of making and using the Raspberry Pi. Rob will discuss how he got involved in the project as an intern at Broadcom (which has a development centre in Bristol as well as Cambridge) and why a career in engineering or computer science is awesome (and important!). There will also be a chance to get hands-on with a Raspberry Pi and to ask him any technical or non-technical questions you might have about engineering, computer science and the Raspberry Pi.
The talk will be followed by an opportunity for a Q&A alongside some demonstrations of how the Raspberry Pi can be used.
Rob Bishop is a Developer, Product Engineer & Evangelist for Raspberry Pi Foundation, one of the earliest engineers involved with the development of the Raspberry Pi and currently the only full-time paid employee in the Foundation.
The event starts at 1800 with the chance to have a look around @Bristol followed by the talk starting at 19:00.
Both BCS Members and Non Members are welcome – tickets are nearly sold out at bcsbristolraspberry.eventbrite.co.uk/
If you require any more information please contact email@example.com
You can buy the Raspberry Pi at http://uk.farnell.com/raspberry-pi?CMP=KNC-GUK-FUK-GEN-KWL