Oxford, United Kingdom

Oxford Brookes University

www.brookes.ac.uk
Oxford, United Kingdom

Oxford Brookes University is a new university in Oxford, England. It can trace its origins to 1865 when the former Oxford School of Art was established. The university was renamed in 1992 to honour its former principal, John Brookes. The university's School of Architecture is one of the largest in Britain.In 2014 it was ranked 379th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings but is not included in Times Higher Education's list of the top 400 universities in the world. Oxford Brookes is the sixth largest employer in Oxfordshire, providing over 2,800 jobs across the university. Wikipedia.

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: EEB-01-2016 | Award Amount: 5.86M | Year: 2016

INNOVIP Consortium will reinvent the top-of-the-line insulating material vacuum-insulation-panels (VIP) by improving their thermal performance over the entire lifetime by at least 25 % and making VIPs adjustable, mountable and machineable. By reducing the density of the core material and/or using an alternative core material together with less expensive VIP-envelopes as gas barrier, it will be possible to sell the new product INNOVIP by more than 20 % lower price. Besides, the new product has a reduced embodied energy by at least 25 % and, attaching different cover layers, the panels can fulfill different functions. These additional functions can be adjusted according to the application they address, for example photocatalytic VOC removal from indoor- and outdoor air, anti mould coating, moisture buffering by Aluminium Compounds or summer heat cut-off by latent heat activated in phase change materials (PCMs). Currently there is no such material on the market. INNOVIP will develop such an innovative solution which will lead to a breakthrough in energy efficiency of the opaque parts of the building envelope both in new built and existing houses. The success of the development process will be demonstrated in two prototypes that can be tested and validated. Development tasks will be carried out in close cooperation with the three complementary and reputed participating testing laboratories. We will show that, in principle, the new product is ready for use in certain important and representative applications, addressing a relevant market volume by replacing conventional insulating materials and standard VIP in established insulation solutions.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-35-2014 | Award Amount: 8.15M | Year: 2015

TCBL uses Europes Textiles & Clothing (T&C) industry as test beds for evolutionary-driven co-design, dynamic optimisation and deployment of business models. It aims to increase the performance of a sector that, over the past two decades, upheld three main strategies to handle global competitive pressure: cost-oriented, product/service-oriented and productivity-oriented. TCBL provides a business experimentation framework for exploring variations on such strategies. The framework will be supported by Knowledge Spaces as a generative force and Business Services as an enabling force. A network of Business Labs will be set up, based on three key variations: Design Labs (e.g. creating emotionally-oriented immaterial value), Making Labs (e.g. converting skilled labour into material value), and Place Labs (e.g. generating spatial community- and socially- oriented value). Each of these Labs will explore the issues of cost, product/service and productivity enhancement in a transversal manner and from cross-disciplinary perspectives - including economic, anthropological, and engineering approaches as well as new business values such as environmental and social responsibility, sharing economy, social enterprising, customer-driven small series production (the focus of this call) and emergent or disruptive technologies. With these tools, and supported by an open Associates Programme, TCBL will carry out real-life experimentation and market deployment of a number of Supply Chain, Localisation, Business, Skill Management and Policy innovations involving no fewer than 160 workshops, laboratories and manufacturing plants at EU level with at least 15,000 T&C workers involved. In addition, 10 new innovative companies will be generated within the supply chain of T&C, enabling the diffusion and scaling up of results. By so doing, a knowledge based, transformational ecosystem will be developed, integrated into an open, yet structured platform environment.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-20-2015 | Award Amount: 2.75M | Year: 2015

OBJECTIVES: Build on multi-discipline research (e.g., human-centred methodology integrates cognitive models, ergonomics, understanding of workers well being) to accelerate how we identify, acquire and exploit skills valued by industry. Get high take-up by early adopters (e.g., in manufacturing). Augment training in situ with live expert guidance, a tacit learning experience and a re-enactment of the expert, in knowledge-intensive environments where effective decision making, often in new situations, has high impact on effectiveness in production. Bring learning content and technical documentation to life via task-sensitive Augmented Reality (AR). Make final products flexible for workplace integration via industry-standard repositories and toolkits. HOW: Wearable TEL platform enhances human abilities to acquire procedural knowledge by providing a smart system that directs attention to where it is most needed. An extensive audit of industry procedures, policies and participatory design methods will define the main facets of the platform. User test cycles will refine prototypes and deliverables. Existing wearable smart devices and sensors will be tailored to provide an innovative solution for content delivery and measurement of user performance. Comparative tests, stakeholders review and leading the IEEE AR group will secure high-standard academic and industrial outputs. RELEVANCE to work programme: WEKIT is strongly aligned with EU job/training policies (e.g., Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs). It enhances the industrial value chain, reduces fragmentation/cost and improves efficiencies with impact regarding speed and scale in production. Looking ahead: roadmap shows safe skill pathways for use of TEL in changing industrial landscapes (e.g. smart machine-to-machine (M2M) knowledge-sharing). Smarter products and services will improve workflows, enhancing (re)training of workers whose skill sets need upgrading after Industry 4.0.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2015

The main goal of this project is to train the next generation of experts on the Caspian region in order to establish, and make sustainable, a network of excellence. This will be achieved through an integrated PhD programme on the Caspian that boosts the researchers theoretical, empirical and administrative skills, a thing that will make them extremely competitive for employment in both academic and non-academic sectors but also confident and knowledgeable enough to start their own projects. The training will enhance the research skills of the ESRs while also giving them a first-hand experience with a partner operating in a different environment, thus learning how to apply their skills to different fields and sectors. We expect our network and training to become a leading voice on issues related to the Caspian region both in academia and other sectors.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: EE-02-2015 | Award Amount: 4.22M | Year: 2015

In ZERO-PLUS, a comprehensive, cost-effective system for Net Zero Energy (NZE) settlements will be developed and implemented. The system will be composed of innovative solutions for the building envelope, for building energy generation and management, and for energy management at the settlement level. A reduction of operational energy usage to an average of 0-20 kWh/m2 per year (compared with the current average of 70-230 kWh/m2) will be achieved through a transition from single NZE buildings to NZE settlements, in which the energy loads and resources are optimally managed. A primary objective of the project will be to develop a system whose investment costs will be at least 16% lower than current costs. In order to reduce balance of system costs, an approach of mass customization will be employed. Mass produced technologies will be integrated in a system that is optimally designed according to the local climate and site of each project in which it is implemented. To this end, a structured process will be developed and applied for the integration, optimization and verification of the design. The projects work programme will ensure a rapid market uptake, within its four-year scope, of the innovative solutions that will be developed. These solutions will be implemented in four different demonstration projects throughout the EU, with varying climates and building types. The results of their implementation will be monitored, analyzed and disseminated. A comprehensive market analysis and business plan will support the commercial exploitation of the projects results. The project will be carried out by a consortium that includes universities, project owners, technology providers and organizations, which will closely collaborate in all the projects phases.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-28-2015 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2016

This proposal is for a personalised decision support system for chronic disease management that will make predictions based on real-time data in order to empower individuals to participate in the self-management of their disease. The design will involve users at every stage to ensure that the system meets patient needs and raises clinical outcomes by preventing adverse episodes and improving lifestyle, monitoring and quality of life. Research will be conducted into the development of an innovative adaptive decision support system based on case-based reasoning combined with predictive computer modelling. The tool will offer bespoke advice for self-management by integrating personal health systems with broad and various sources of physiological, lifestyle, environmental and social data. The research will also examine the extent to which human behavioural factors and usability issues have previously hindered the wider adoption of personal guidance systems for chronic disease self-management. It will be developed and validated initially for people with diabetes on basal-bolus insulin therapy, but the underlying approach can be adapted to other chronic diseases. There will be a strong emphasis on safety, with glucose predictions, dose advice, alarms, limits and uncertainties communicated clearly to raise individual awareness of the risk of adverse events such as hypoglycaemia or hyperglycaemia. The outputs of this research will be validated in an ambulatory setting and a key aspect will be innovation management. All components will adhere to medical device standards in order to meet regulatory requirements and ensure interoperability, both with existing personal health systems and commercial products. The resulting architecture will improve interactions with healthcare professionals and provide a generic framework for providing adaptive mobile decision support, with innovation capacity to be applied to other applications, thereby increasing the impact of the project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 720.00K | Year: 2017

This proposal aims to create a structured network for the exchange of knowledge and the joint development of innovative approaches to address a crucial societal challenge of the 21st century, that of the Cohesive City. The project will take a novel approach to urban socio-spatial segregation and territorial stigmatisation, by bringing together academic and non-academic partners in the EU, with scholars in Latin America, to work on a joint international and inter-sectoral research programme. Using an innovative multidisciplinary approach, the scientific objectives of the research are to: critically review and conceptualise processes of socio-spatial segregation, including urban territorial stigmatisation, from a multi-disciplinary perspective; develop a new methodological tool, that of Co-Creation, that brings together researchers, artists and policy-makers to address stigmatisation; develop policy guidelines and recommendations that can be applied broadly; and connect the network with a wide audience, both academic and non-academic. To achieve these scientific objectives, the project features a structured programme of knowledge transfer activities, involving secondments, workshops, summer schools as well as communication and dissemination events. The objectives are to: strengthen and enhance the network of international and inter-sectoral institutions; mobilise complementary expertise and skills to progress the understanding of mechanisms and processes of urban socio-spatial segregation in different contexts, provide researchers and practitioners with training opportunities and new insights into different research cultures across countries and sectors. In relation to impact, the research is expected to transform public space, generate new thinking worldwide, promote a unique approach and make a major conceptual and methodological contribution towards a better understanding of the Cohesive City. Its advances will have significant benefits for society.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 452.09K | Year: 2017

Billions of years ago life consisted solely of single-celled organisms; these types of creatures tend to compete with one another, and their primary goal is to grow and reproduce. When multi-cellular organisms evolved they had to solve a problem: how to stop individual cells in the organism from fighting and competing with each other, and to actually work together for the benefit of the organism. One way that organisms solved this problem was by getting cells to communicate with one another in different ways. This communication between cells is crucially important, as it allows them to coordinate important decisions, such as when to grow and when to die. Understanding this communication is therefore a requisite for understanding how multicellular life is regulated. One of the ways in which cells communicate is via the release of extracellular vesicles (EVs). EVs are essentially tiny bags that are released by cells which carry various cellular components such as proteins and RNA molecules (these are a copied version of DNA which act as an intermediary in the formation of proteins). We have known about the existence of EVs for decades, but it was thought that they were essentially a waste disposal system that cells could use to jettison unwanted material. However, it has emerged that EVs are actually very important. After they are released they can be taken up by other cells, where they can induce a response. In other words, they are part of the communication process that cells use to coordinate their function. Scientists across the world took note and began testing to see if EVs were involved in their favourite topics of research. In our lab we have found that when cells get stressed they are able to send EVs to their neighbours. These bystander cells appear to become damaged, but they also are now more protected against stress. In other words, when cells get stressed they can warn their neighbours to toughen up and prepare some danger heading their way. This seems to play an important role in helping organisms to survive stressful conditions, yet little is known about how EVs control this process. In this proposal we will aim to better understand this EV mediated communication following stress by pursuing three core objectives: 1. To study the molecular mechanisms of this intercellular stress response Our preliminary work has revealed some of the molecular steps involved in changing the neighbouring cells to allow this adaptation to stressful conditions. Here we will perform further work to better understand how these steps fit together in controlling the overall effect in the neighbouring cells. 2. To discover genes involved in EV processing. Nobody has ever comprehensively tested how EVs are able to stick to their target cells, enter those cells and then avoid destruction once inside the cell. Here we will attempt to tackle this difficult but important question. We have designed some experiments which will tell us what proteins are involved in controlling these different steps. The design of the experiments will also allow us to find out what genes are involved in controlling the stress response induced by EVs. Objective 3 - To study genes identified in objective 2 in more detail. This will allow us to better understand the mechanisms by which stressed cells are able to communicate with one another. Indeed, we will be able to characterise the whole process from the arrival of the EVs at the bystander cell, the uptake and processing of the EV and the subsequent induction of a response that helps that cell to prepare for future danger. The findings will also broadly appeal to scientists working in a range of different topics.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 80.32K | Year: 2017

The proposed project will create innovative engagement and impact activities with different generations of Italian audiences, building on from resources and activities created by the AHRC-funded Lost Italian Cinema Audiences project (2013-16) (referred to below as ICA). The project is a collaboration between the ICA team and our community co-investigator, UNITRE (University of the Third Age), a key partner in the oral history data collection, dissemination and validation within the ICA research project, and whose public engagement events provided our pathways for impact. UNITRE and ICA will collaborate on producing, testing and widely disseminating an interactive digital archive. The new digital archive will significantly enhance the oral history narratives collected in ICA with previously unavailable data supplied by Italian archives (publicity material, photos, plans of cinemas etc.) and by UNITRE members (photos and artifacts of Italian cinema-going in the 1950s). The ICA project has demonstrated that memory preservation places audiences in control of their cultural heritage. Our audiences felt the custodial responsibility of their cultural history when their memories were preserved in the video-interviews and shared in public engagement events. These memories must now be made easily available in sustainable form to younger generations, so that they can become the living curators of a virtual archive of cinema-going experience. A pilot project lead by Dr Treveri Gennari has suggested that sharing experiences and memories of cinema-going between older people and schoolchildren has the potential to generate strong cultural and affective cohesion. The project will therefore offer different generations of Italians the possibility to function as living curators of a virtual archive of their own cinema history. Moreover, this new project will reach and train different communities on the use of the digital archive, hence making the new resource available to a great number of user-groups. These are: 1. Older generations of cinema-goers (through our community partner UNITRE) 2. Schoolchildren (through a national competition through the Education Ministry - Ministero dellIstruzione, dellUniversità e della Ricerca - MIUR, which will ensure development of class activities and curriculum integration) 3. The general public (through audio-visual libraries that supply audio-visual resources in different regions) As the main aim of this project is to establish innovative, digital humanities-based impact and engagement activities to connect different generations with the research gathered under the Lost Italian Audiences project (ICA), it will: 1. Empower older people to take control of their own memories of cinema-going and map them in our digital archive; this will be made possible by a close working relationship with our community Co-Investigator UNITRE; 2. Engage schoolchildren in interpersonal digital encounters with the older generations of Italians in order to collaborate in the investigation of their neighborhoods, their community and their shared cultural history. We will achieve this by working with schools in 8 regions of Italy to stimulate and facilitate the use of the portal through a national competition, where schools will team up with the elderly in order to map their memories of cinema-going, add further data and metadata, and thereby share ownership of their own cultural heritage; 3. Involve a much broader community of users through Italian audio-visual libraries, across 8 regions of Italy to ensure greater access and contribution to the digital archive; 4. Train all these different communities of users (school teachers, audio-visual librarians, older people) in the use of the archive to make it available in their learning spaces across the country and to develop a sense of shared authority not only in relation to the history of Italian cinema, but to the history of Italian cultural heritage.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 336.24K | Year: 2016

Since the initiation of World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Cities movement over thirty years ago there have been increased efforts to understand how the urban environment affects health outcomes and can produce more equitable health benefits. A key concern is the way in which the physical fabric of cities affects urban mobility and how this relates to health and wellbeing. Built environmental design supportive of walking and cycling (active mobility) could help to promote moderate physical activity as part of daily travel routines delay biological ageing and age-related conditions and improve overall health and wellbeing. In the Global South, however, the rapid growth in private motorization and the lack of value placed on walking and cycling means the association between environmental attributes and active mobility are more complex. This is having a significant impact on the urban poor and low-income groups who already engage in, and rely on, walking and cycling (and public transport) to meet their daily travel needs. The trend in the Global North, meanwhile, particularly in countries like the UK, is towards a decrease in physical activity and this is associated with more widespread private car use, obesogenic environments and greater mechanisation in the home, workplace and public places. The implementation of healthy urban mobility as part of the broader Healthy Cities concept, therefore, presents serious challenges in both the Global South and Global North and requires different approaches towards its realisation. The focus of the BRAZIL-UK Healthy Urban Mobility (HUM) research is on understanding the impact of personal (im)mobility on both individual and community health and wellbeing of different neighbourhoods in Brazil and in the UK, and developing a participatory approach to support and develop healthy urban mobility and to address health inequalities and injustice. The investigation will use a mixed method approach comprising five specific field research components (a) spatial mapping to understand the physical and built environment context in which mobility takes place (b) a social survey to capture mobility and health and wellbeing profiles of selected communities (c) in-depth biographic interviews to understand role of past experiences of mobility and the rationale behind selected modes of mobility - mobile trajectories (d) micro-ethnographies through mobile interviews to capture contemporary everyday experience of being (im)mobile and (e) a participatory approach to involve the local community in identifying problems and solutions for healthy urban mobility and community wellbeing. The work will focus in three Brazilian cities and one UK city: Brazilia (Federal State), Florianopolis (State of Santa Catarina), Porto Alegre (State of Rio Grande do Sul) and Oxford (Southern England). These are chosen because of their different spatial and demographic characteristics and the challenges they are facing in relation to promoting healthy urban mobility. Empirical research will be timed such that it will be conducted in parallel in both Brazil and the UK using exactly the same approach and methods so that the UK-BRAZIL multidisciplinary team can engage in co-learning and knowledge exchange and more specifically (a) evaluate the overall approach and methodologies; (b) compare datasets between cities and between Brazil and UK; and, (c) evaluate potential policies and delivery models to promote healthy urban mobility in different contexts. Through the combination of novel research methods to experiment and assess and actively involve communities and stakeholders in active dialogue and mutual learning we hope to develop new approaches to mobility planning that seek to address health inequalities within urban areas.

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