New head at Toshiba’s Bristol research lab

October 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Professor Ian Craddock is taking over as Managing Director of the Telecommunications Research Laboratory (TRL) in Bristol.

Professor Joe McGeehan retired from the position of Managing Director on the 31 July 2011 after leading the Telecommunication Research Laboratory since its inception in 1998.   He becomes a Senior General Advisor to the company and continues in his role as Director at the Centre of Communication Research at the University of Bristol.

Professor Craddock is Research Director for the Merchant Venturers School of Engineering at Bristol University and a member of the Centre for Communications Research. His research interests include wideband microwave imaging, electromagnetic modelling, antenna design and medical applications of communications technology.

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German DJ equipment maker uses Bristol chip

October 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Native Instruments Use XMOS Silicon in New Products

German music and DJ equipment designer Native Instruments is using a chip developed in Bristol by XMOS Semiconductor for its latest products.  The Berlin company is using the XMOS single chip processors as an audio streaming platform in their product range, helping them to deliver systems that use the latest USB Audio Class 2.0 standard. “We are amazed by how rapidly our engineers have learnt to use XMOS devices, and the speed with which they are able to design new products,” said Mate Galic, Chief Technology Officer and President of Native Instruments.

The flexibility of the XMOS chip and software allows engineers to bring a range of equipment with new features to market much quicker than competitive solutions at the same time as adopting emerging standards. Native Instruments has integrated a single XMOS chip with software based on the XMOS USB Audio 2.0 reference design into a variety of new products. The ability to re-use major parts of the software allowed their engineers to focus on the differentiating features and reduce the time taken to bring the products to market.

Native Instruments has a mission to develop innovative, fully integrated solutions for all professions, styles and genres. It started providing real-time sound synthesis on standard computers in 1996, and today offers a range of products for musicians, producers and DJs. The company currently employs around 270 people in its two offices in Berlin and Los Angeles.

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Bristol site at the heart of new advanced manufacturing centre

October 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The National Composite Centre in Bristol is a key part of a new Technology and Innovation Centre in high value manufacturing (HVM) that was launched today.

The Technology Strategy Board will invest £140 million over the next six years to stimulate manufacturing in the UK, reduce the risk of innovation for new and established UK manufacturing businesses and attract international business to the UK. The new centre in high value manufacturing will be the first of at least six Technology and Innovation Centres to be established by April 2013.

The HVM Centre brings together seven institutions of excellence to better support UK manufacturing:

·         Advanced Forming Research Centre (University of Strathclyde)

·         Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (University of Sheffield)

·         Centre for Process Innovation (Wilton & Sedgefield)

·         Manufacturing Technology Centre (Coventry)

·         National Composites Centre (University of Bristol)

·         Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (University of Manchester and Sheffield)

·         Warwick Manufacturing Group (University of Warwick)

By incorporating the seven institutions, the HVM Technology and Innovation Centre will support a number of different industries including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, food & beverages, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, energy, chemicals and electronics.

The HVM Technology and Innovation Centre will commercialise business-led research and innovation that will help UK manufacturing businesses become more competitive on a world stage. As well as receiving funding from the Technology Strategy Board, direct contracts with UK business will form a third of the overall funding for the centre. The Centre will also be well positioned to secure funding from competitive Research and Development (R&D) grants, including EU funding.

“High value manufacturing is a priority for the Technology Strategy Board. The future of manufacturing in the UK needs to be high value, delivering strong financial performance, strategic importance, and positive social impact,” said Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board. “The UK has some of the best manufacturing businesses in the world, the industry accounts for 12 per cent of GDP, around half of exports and in 2010 employed 2.5 million people in the UK. The new centre will help UK businesses stay at the leading edge of manufacturing technology and create and protect jobs long into the future.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity for UK businesses in manufacturing. The new HVM Technology and Innovation Centre will become the go-to place for innovation in the UK manufacturing,” said Peter Chivers, Chief Executive of the National Composites Centre. “Using the facilities and expertise from the seven institutions, the new centre will provide a compelling advantage for UK manufacturing. We have already received strong interest from UK businesses to use the service and will be working collaboratively with UK manufacturing businesses from today.”

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Cabinet Office Approves Bristol’s Open Source Plans

October 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Bristol City Council has been given the green light to push ahead with its open source strategy following a meeting with CESG, the cyber security arm of the UK intelligence services.

The move is a key step in stimulating innovation in software for government systems.

via Cabinet Office Approves Bristol’s Open Source Plans | eWEEK Europe UK.

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Bristol hosts Energy-Aware Computing workshop

October 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Alternative Models for Energy-Aware COmputation

Wednesday, 19th October 2011, 9:00 – 17:00, Cabot Room, The Hawthorns, 14-16 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UQ

Researchers and engineers with interests in energy-aware computing are coming together in Bristol next week to identify the challenges that can be developed into collaborative research projects in computing systems that are aware of the energy they consume.

The special focus of this workshop is on Alternative Models for Energy-Aware COmputation with one session focused solely on Learning from Biology. “We strive to go significantly beyond the state of the art,” say the organisers.

Agenda (all times approximate)

9:30 Welcome and Introduction – Kerstin Eder and David May, University of Bristol

9:45 “Prising the secrets of energy efficiency out of brains” – Simon Laughlin, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK

~10:45 Discussion followed by a short Coffee Break

11:15 Intellectual Challenges Update and Discussion: What next?

~12:30 Lunch including Networking and Intellectual Challenges Discussion

13:30 “Energy-Modulated Computing” – Alex Yakovlev, Newcastle University, UK

~14:30 Discussion followed by a short Coffee Break

15:00  Brainstorming Session

~16:00 Discussion and Conclusion

16:30 Wine Reception and Networking

17:00 END

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October 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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E-business involves the selling and buying of expertise and things online through the help of electronic gadgets. In hassle-free words, e-trade is in fact on line exchanging (Goldstein And O’Connor, 2002). In up-to-date community, any nation objective at making sure its exports grows to the farthest inhabitants conceivable. It is usually so because of help of technology. Brought up here are some the future and evolution point of view of e-commerce. Source: https://en.Wikipedia.Org/wiki/Central_European_Summer_Time It has been recognized that lots of producers and traders have widely used the available technology to make sure of their goods and services get through to their clientele. For instance, on the environment take scheme, clients will not need to line for monthly payment and arranging from the flying. Customers use their smartphones in order to make money over the web as well as hire for flight tickets without inevitably visiting the workplaces. When using the present-day procedure, overcrowding is cut down in their plug-ins, and additionally it helps save time if you will likely be utilising this time undertaking other positive stuff like output (Goldstein And O’Connor, 2002).

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Shutl high speed delivery launches in Bristol

October 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Shutl, the internet start-up that can deliver goods in under an hour, is launching its service in Bristol today.

The multi award winning service allows shoppers to receive online purchases from high street retailers in as little as 90 minutes or to choose a one-hour delivery window, same day or any day. This is made possible because Shutl fulfils web orders from local stores rather than a centralised warehouse. Shutl can deliver 24 hours a day, seven days a week from £4.95, although retailers will often offer the service for free in order to drive conversion.

Having launched the service in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester in August, and within London last year, Shutl now operates across a total of 10 UK cities adding Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff and Liverpool alongside Bristol.

“This next phase of Shutl’s roll-out will enable us to serve around 40% of the UK’s online shoppers,” said Tom Allason, founder and CEO of Shutl. “We are on track to providing high-street retailers with a game-changing delivery proposition in time for Christmas, a key weapon in the battle for market share with Amazon and the other pure-play e-tailers.”

Initially the service will be offered to the new geographies through leading fashion brands Karen Millen, Oasis, Coast and Warehouse. Other major high street names are expected to follow suit shortly.

The company recently won the BT Retail Week Technology Award for “Supply Chain Excellence” and has been shortlisted as a finalist in the upcoming Retail Systems Awards in the “Internet Technology of the Year” and “Supply Chain Innovation” categories. Earlier in the year Shutl was awarded a Media Guardian Innovation Award for “Technology Breakthrough Business” and the Econsultancy Innovation Award for E-commerce.

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IBM partnership with Bristol University aims for a smarter planet

October 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The University of Bristol is to work with IBM on joint research and technology projects in intelligent infrastructure and cloud computing

“Students and staff at the University will work more closely with IBM teams to develop the skills and technology needed for an ever-changing world,” said IBM Executive Partner and Bristol Partnership Executive Jon Bentley “The work that will be carried out by the teams will look at how new intelligent infrastructure can help the world function more efficiently and help create a smarter planet.”

The aim of the relationship is to stimulate growth and drive innovation, whilst expanding the scope of resources and experiences offered to students.  Smarter infrastructure is vital in all manner of things, including cars, appliances, roadways, power grids, clothes and even natural systems such as agriculture and waterways.

The announcement builds on the success of Bristol University graduates recruited by IBM and the collaboration with IBM to establish the University’s £7million BlueCrystal supercomputer facility, which is one of the fastest and largest computers of its kind in the UK.

Cloud Computing is another research priority. This is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility.

The partnership will also see joint research and technology projects, the combining of efforts to access funding, recruitment activities, staff secondment and possible mentoring opportunities.

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “Jointly we will look at accessing research funding, recruitment activities, staff secondment and possible mentoring opportunities. I look forward to building on our existing links and our shared goal of delivering a truly phenomenal student experience.”


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Green energy high fliers compete for awards

October 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Companies, community groups and charities are among those shortlisted for the South West Green Energy Awards, judged by a panel of leading industry experts and awarded on 9th November.

Green energy high fliers compete for awards | This is Cornwall.

Brunel Gorilla tops the popularity stakes

October 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The Brunel Gorilla on Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol

The Brunel Gorilla on Clifton Suspension Bridge

The popularity of a gorilla dressed as Isambard Kingdom Brunel demonstrates the interest in innovation and engineering in the SouthWest.

All through the summer, sculptures of gorillas have been placed around Bristol and London to celebrate the  175th anniversary of the science and research at Bristol Zoo Gardens. All 60 were sold off in an auction last week, with the Brunel gorilla – called Gorisambard –  raising the most money at £23,000. Overall the auction raised £427,300 for gorilla conservation work and the Redland-based Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal.

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SW companies drive wireless payment revolution

October 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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SouthWest companies are at the forefront of driving a new phase of contactless payment systems for transport.

Hoeft & Wessel and CreditCall revolutionise e-Ticketing in public transport

IT specialist Hoeft & Wessel in Swindon is to provide its new Almex e-Ticketing system across the UK for easy contactless payment by credit card without prior registration. The system uses the new generation of NFC (near field communication) chips, some of which are designed by the Cirencester division of chip giant Broadcom, while teh core software comes from a Bristol firm.

“This super-fast ticketing system will practically revolutionise the public transport system,” said Thomas Wolf, member of the Board of Management of the Hoeft & Wessel. “All passengers will soon need is a credit card with NFC functionality to be able to board the means of transport of their choice immediately. What this means in practice is boarding, holding the card in front of the reading device and starting the journey. After holding the card in front of a reader at the end of the journey the best fares will be calculated and charged. ”

With the new NFC ticketing system it was possible to minimise the transaction time required for identification of the credit card or the e-Ticket, which now amounts to less than 500 milliseconds.

The first practical test is now on the cards: Hoeft & Wessel will be equipping FirstGroup, the largest private bus operator in the United Kingdom, with 4,000 systems. They will be integrated into the corporate IT system, and a further 1,500 are at the planning stage. “Now that we have reached a leading position in the bus market, we plan to intensify our efforts in the field of stationary ticketing terminals. In the process, in future we will also be targeting the railway market in the United Kingdom,” says Peter Aylward, General Manager of Almex UK in Swindon.

The software technology to make this happen was developed in Bristol by Creditcall. Its Contactless Kernel enables acceptance of Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass cards in retail and unattended environments.

CreditCall is a globally acknowledged industry expert with an exceptional track record in the payment sector. Their Contactless Kernel has enabled us to quickly and economically integrate contactless payment functionality across our offering, ” said Peter Aylward, General Manager of Almex UK, part of Hoeft & Wessel.

“We are delighted that Hoeft & Wessel as a well-known provider of proven ticketing systems across Europe have opted for our contactless kernel,” said CreditCall’s CTO Jeremy Gumbley. “With Contactless.LIB, Hoeft & Wessel is able to make contactless payment available more widely, contributing significantly to the contactless payment revolution happening right now.”


In the past, contactless credit cards provided for payment of a service at a predefined price. In contrast, as passengers’ boarding and exiting statistics are recorded, this means that the total fare is only determined when changing trains or buses or at the end of the journey. Moreover, passengers used to be required to register with the transport authorities and buy a special identification medium to be able to use these processes. The innovation developed by Hoeft & Wessel on the basis of credit card systems now ensures that all passengers need to use the check-in/check-out system is their credit cards.

Passengers also benefit from the new ticketing system when paying for tickets and finding the correct fares: it automatically selects the suitable ticket and the best fare. The background system enables individual transactions to be consolidated across a period of time capable of being selected by the operator; only once this has been done is the transaction submitted to the payment service provider. This helps to save transaction fees. If a best-price strategy is applied, in return the passenger can be billed with the most favourable ticket for his usage behaviour, for instance in the form of a day ticket rather than several single tickets.

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Bristol Council’s Open Source Push Hits Security Block

October 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Bristol Council is pushing to be the first in the UK to move to ‘open source’ computer software that does not come from big companies such as Microsoft, but has hit a significant block. The problem is that only three software systems are approved by the Government, none of them open source and all from big companies.

Open source software such as is available for free or minimal cost and is developed by a wide range of people all feeding developments and improvements back into the code. The argument is that it stimulates innovation and allows new players with great ideas to emerge.

As a result of a letter from the Council, the Cabinet Office’s Senior Advisor on Innovation and Transformation through ICT, Liam Maxwell, has apparently “responded positively to this approach” and a senior Cabinet Office Team will visit Bristol shortly. It is thought they will discuss what actions the government can take to help Bristol City Council resolve this issue.

via Bristol Council’s Open Source Push Hits Security Buffers | eWEEK Europe UK.

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