East of England, United Kingdom
East of England, United Kingdom

The University of Bedfordshire is a rapidly expanding university in the south of England with four campuses across Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. There are campuses in Bedford and Luton, the two largest towns in Bedfordshire, England. A campus in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire is for students studying Nursing and Midwifery. A further campus in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, teaches business studies, electronic engineering, and telecommunications.It has approximately 24,000 students. Nearly 3,000 international students study with the university. The university was created by the merger of the University of Luton and the Bedford campus of De Montfort University in August 2006 following approval by the Privy Council. In 2012 it achieved FairTrade status.The University entered the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008 and achieved a GPA of 2.087 with 34.7% world-leading or internationally excellent. The top units of assessment were in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Social Work Social Policy and Administration and English Language and Literature. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2017

Quantum Information Access and Retrieval Theory We aim to establish an European Training Network (ETN) on QUantum information Access and Retrieval Theory (QUARTZ). Towards a new approach to Information Access and Retrieval (IAR) addressing the challenges of the dynamic and multimodal nature of the data and user interaction context, QUARTZ aims to educate its Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) to adopt a novel theoretically and empirically motivated approach to IAR based on the quantum mechanical framework that gives up the notions of unimodal features and classical ranking models disconnected from context. Each ESR will be aware that the current state of the art of IAR is not sufficient to address the challenges of a dynamic, adaptive and context-aware user-machine interaction and to make a major breakthrough in the overall effectiveness of retrieval systems, and that a genuine theoretical breakthrough is on the contrary necessary. We believe that this breakthrough can be provided by quantum theory which can integrate abstract vector spaces, probability spaces and logic in a single theoretical framework which extend and generalize the classical vector, probability and logic spaces utilised in IAR. QUARTZ will consist of training activities and ESR research projects which investigate theoretical issues and evaluate methods and prototypes for adaptive IAR systems managing large data collections and meeting the end users information needs in a dynamic context.


The forecasted increase in the number of older people for this century will be accompanied by an increase of those with disabilities. Disability is usually preceded by a condition named frailty that encompasses changes associated with ageing, life styles and chronic diseases. To detect and intervene on it is of outstanding importance to prevent disability, as recovery from disability is unlikely. Recent documents stress the necessity of testing the clinical utility (in terms of risk prediction, diagnosis validity and prognostic significance) of the existing definition of frailty by using combinations of clinical criteria (current definition) and lab Biomarkers (BMs). We will measure the levels of blood and urine omic-based BMs in old people selected from eight cohorts, which include up to 75,000 participants, using standardized and innovative technology (WP1). This figure will allow us to test the research questions with a high power and validity. Combining these lab BMs with clinical BMs, we will develop predictive, diagnostic and prognostic models (WP2), with its modulation by nutrition and physical activity, in general old population and in old people showing some characteristics that confer a high risk for developing frailty (selected cardiovascular risk factors and diseases) (WP4). After that, a selected set of BMs will be validated prospectively (WP3) and assessed to find the best-fitted models (WP4). These models will guide the development of the ready-to-use kits to be implemented in the clinical settings. These kits will be at the center of dissemination and exploitation activities (WP5, WP6). A well-balanced consortium distributed over the individual tasks in the respective work packages will carry it out, with a strong participation of SMEs. In summary, FRAILOMIC is original, relevant, pertinent, feasible, overcome the usual research bottlenecks on Biomarkers, and fits perfectly with the topics addressed by the HEALTH.2012.2.1.1-2 call in human subjects


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.2 | Award Amount: 3.36M | Year: 2013

Owing to the highly fragmented health systems in European countries, gaining access to a consistent record of individual citizens that involves cross-border activities is very difficult. MyHealthAvatar is an attempt at a proof of concept for the digital representation of patient health status. It is designed as a lifetime companion for individual citizens that will facilitate the collection of, and access to, long-term health-status information. This will be extremely valuable for clinical decisions and offer a promising approach to acquire population data to support clinical research, leading to strengthened multidisciplinary research excellence in supporting innovative medical care.\n\nMyHealthAvatar will be built on the latest ICT technology with an aim of engaging public interest to achieve its targeted outcomes. In addition to data access, it is also an interface to access integrative models and analysis tools, utilizing resources already created by the VPH community. Overall, it will contribute to individualized disease prediction and prevention and support healthy lifestyles and independent living. It is expected to exert a major influence on the reshaping of future healthcare in the handling of increased life expectancy and the ageing population in Europe. This complies with the priority and strategy of FP7 ICT for healthcare, and constitutes a preparatory action aiming at the grand challenge on a Digital Patient, which is currently the subject of a roadmap in the VPH community.\n\nMyHealthAvatar places a special emphasis on engaging the public. It has huge implications to the society both socially and economically. The initiative of designing a personal avatar can potentially change the way we think, communicate and search for information. Meanwhile, the acceptance of the avatars by the public will open opportunities for many industrial sectors, leading to the reinforced leadership of European industry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-26-2014 | Award Amount: 4.86M | Year: 2015

Chronic cancer treatment places new demands on patients and families to manage their own care. The iManageCancer project will support this challenge and provide a cancer disease self-management platform designed according to the specific needs of patient groups and focusing on the wellbeing of the cancer patient with special emphasis on psycho-emotional evaluation and self-motivated goals. The platform will be centred in a Personal Health Record that will exploit recent advances on Health Avatars for the individual cancer patient surrounded by mHealth applications designed to encourage the patient, enhance clinician-patient communication, maximise compliance to therapy, inform about drug interactions, and contribute to the management of pain and other side-effects of cancer treatment. The Health Avatar PHR will regularly monitor the psycho-emotional status of the patient and will periodically record the everyday life experiences of the cancer patient with respect to the therapy side effects, while different groups of patients and their families will share information through diaries and clinicians are provided with clinical information. The PHR will help assess adherence to therapy, physiological and psychological status while the platform will recommend targeted informative applications and serious games according to the disease type and psycho-emotional status of the patients in order to promote a positive and healthier psycho-emotional state. The disease management platform will be further complemented by an integrated expert system with formal self-management models that will be oriented to decision support, the management of side-effects, adherence to therapy and guidance for patients including drug dose self-adjustments. The iManageCancer platform will be designed on clinical evidence and in close collaboration of clinical experts, IT specialists and patients and will be assessed in clinical pilots with adult and paediatric cancer patients.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-14-2016 | Award Amount: 2.08M | Year: 2017

The groundbreaking objective of CARESSES is to build culturally competent care robots, able to autonomously re-configure their way of acting and speaking, when offering a service, to match the culture, customs and etiquette of the person they are assisting. By designing robots that are more sensitive to the users needs, CARESSES innovative solution will offer elderly clients a safe, reliable and intuitive system to foster their independence and autonomy, with a greater impact on quality of life, a reduced caregiver burden, and an improved efficiency and efficacy. The need for cultural competence has been deeply investigated in the Nursing literature. However, it has been totally neglected in Robotics. CARESSES stems from the consideration that cultural competence is crucial for care robots as it is for human caregivers. From the users perspective, a culturally appropriate behavior is key to improve acceptability; from the commercial perspective, it will open new avenues for marketing robots across different countries. CARESSES will adopt the following approach. First, we will study how to represent cultural models, how to use these models in sensing, planning and acting, and how to acquire them. Second, we will consider three (physically identical) replicas of a commercial robot on the market and integrate cultural models into them, by making them culturally competent. Third, we will test the three robots, customized for three different cultures, in the EU (two cultural groups) and Japan (one cultural group), on a number of elderly volunteers and their informal caregivers. Evaluation will be conducted through quantitative and qualitative investigation. To achieve its groundbreaking objective, CARESSES will involve a multidisciplinary team of EU and Japanese researchers with a background in Transcultural Nursing, AI, Robotics, Testing and evaluations of health-care technology, a worldwide leading company in Robotics and a network of Nursing care homes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.2 | Award Amount: 13.91M | Year: 2013

Developing robust, reproducible, interoperable and collaborative hyper-models of diseases and normal physiology is a sine qua non necessity if rational, coherent and comprehensive exploitation of the invaluable information hidden within human multiscale biological data is envisaged. Responding to this imperative in the context of both the broad Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) initiative and the paradigmatic cancer domain, CHIC proposes the development of a suite of tools, services and secure infrastructure that will support accessibility and reusability of VPH mathematical and computational hypermodels. These will include a hypermodelling infrastructure consisting primarily of a hypermodelling editor and a hypermodelling execution environment, an infrastructure for semantic metadata management, a hypermodel repository, a hypermodel-driven clinical data repository, a distributed metadata repository and an in silico trial repository for the storage of executed simulation scenarios. Multiscale models and data will be semantically annotated using the ontological and annotating tools to be developed. An image processing and visualization toolkit, and cloud and virtualization services will also be developed. The CHIC tools, services, infrastructure and repositories will provide the community with a collaborative interface for exchanging knowledge and sharing work in an effective and standardized way. A number of open source features and tools will enhance usability and accessibility. In order to ensure clinical relevance and foster clinical acceptance of hypermodelling in the future, the whole endeavour will be driven by the clinical partners of the consortium. Cancer hypermodels to be collaboratively developed by the consortium cancer modellers will provide the framework and the testbed for the development of the CHIC technologies. Clinical adaptation and partial clinical validation of hypermodels and hypermodel oncosimulators will be undertaken.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.1 | Award Amount: 3.41M | Year: 2014

Scientific creativity and innovation represent the beating heart of European growth at a time of rapid technological change. Dr Inventor is built on the vision that technologies have great potential to supplement human ingenuity in science by overcoming the limitations that people suffer in pursuing scientific discovery. It presents an original system that will provide inspiration for scientific creativity by utilising the rich presence of web-based research resources. Dr Inventor will act as a personal research assistant, utilising machine-empowered search and computation to bring researchers extended perspectives for scientific innovation by informing them of a broad spectrum of relevant research concepts and approaches, by assessing the novelty of research ideas, and by offering suggestions of new concepts and workflows with unexpected features for new scientific discovery.\n\nDr Inventor is an attempt to understand the potential of technology in the scientific creative process within current technology limitations. It represents a sound balance between scientific insight into individual scientific creative processes and technical implementation using innovative technologies in information extraction, document summarization, semantics and visual analytics. The outcomes will be integrated into a web-based system that will allow evaluation in a selected research area under real-world settings with carefully designed metrics, benchmarks and baseline for creative performance, leading to tangible measurements on the performance of the technologies in enhancing human creativity and a blueprint for future technologies in computational creativity.\n\nDr Inventor has huge implications for scientific innovation in Europe, as it has the potential to change the way in which scientific research is undertaken. The acceptance of the system by general research communities will open opportunities for many industrial sectors, leading to reinforced leadership of European industry.


Ramanathan U.,University of Bedfordshire
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2014

In the past few decades several supply chain management initiatives such as Vendor Managed Inventory, Continuous Replenishment and Collaborative Planning Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR) have been proposed in literature to improve the performance of supply chains. But, identifying the benefits of collaboration is still a big challenge for many supply chains. Confusion around the optimum number of partners, investment in collaboration and duration of partnership are some of the barriers of healthy collaborative arrangements. To evolve competitive supply chain collaboration (SCC), all SC processes need to be assessed from time to time for evaluating the performance. In a growing field, performance measurement is highly indispensable in order to make continuous improvement; in a new field, it is equally important to check the performance to test conduciveness of SCC. In this research, collaborative performance measurement will act as a testing tool to identify conducive environment to collaborate, by the way of pinpointing areas requiring improvements before initializing collaboration. We use actual industrial data and simulation to help managerial decision-making on the number of collaborating partners, the level of investments and the involvement in supply chain processes. This approach will help the supply chains to obtain maximum benefit of collaborative relationships. The use of simulation for understanding the performance of SCC is relatively a new approach and this can be used by companies that are interested in collaboration without having to invest a huge sum of money in establishing the actual collaboration. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Caygill J.S.,University of Bedfordshire
The Analyst | Year: 2013

Due to the heightened level of national security currently prevalent due to the possibility of terrorist incidents, highly portable, miniaturised and sensitive monitoring devices for trace levels of injurious materials, such as explosives are now of the upmost importance. One method that offers a possible route for the development of a detection system for such species is via an electrochemical regime, coupled to the use of disposable sensor technology. Within this study, the use of carbon screen-printed sensors for the detection and analysis of the classical explosive trinitrotoluene (TNT) and the related dinitrotoluene (DNT) is described, with the eventual objective to develop an inexpensive, accurate and sensitive detection system for trace quantities of explosives in field settings. Commercially available screen-printed carbon sensors have been used as the base platform for this investigation and the electrochemistry of both TNT and DNT studied at these surfaces. Two reductive peaks and one oxidative peak were observed for both analytes. The best linear fits and sensitivities were obtained using the reductive peak at -0.72 V vs. Ag/AgCl. A linear range from 1 to 200 μM could be obtained for TNT and DNT in pH 7.0 phosphate buffer with limits of detection as low as 0.4 μM (TNT) and 0.7 μM (DNT). A second system which utilised the addition of the enzyme, nitroreductase, and the coenzyme, NADPH, into the solution matrix prior to electrochemical interrogations with screen-printed carbon electrodes was found to increase the resulting signal magnitude at the oxidation peak at +0.3 V, improving the performance of the sensor at these values.


Randhawa G.,University of Bedfordshire
British Journal of Anaesthesia | Year: 2012

Deceased donation in the UK relies upon family consent. Approaching a family at the tragic time of a loved ones death requires significant emotional resilience from staff. The UK is comprised of individuals who have a number of life and death values which are, to some extent, based upon their faith, culture, and ethnicity. This paper seeks to provide an overview of some of key issues relating to death, death rituals, faith, and how these may impact upon organ donation. This should be of benefit to staff dealing closely with recently bereaved families and who will be requesting organ donation from them. © 2012 The Author.

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