London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom

The University of Westminster is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. Its antecedent institution, the Royal Polytechnic Institution, was founded in 1838 and was the first polytechnic institution in the UK. Westminster was awarded university status in 1992 meaning it could award its own degrees.Its headquarters and original campus are in Regent Street in the City of Westminster area of central London, with additional campuses in Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Harrow. It operates the Westminster International University in Tashkent in Uzbekistan.Westminster's academic activities are organised into seven faculties and schools, within which there are around 45 departments. The University has numerous centres of research excellence across all the faculties, including the Communication and Media Research Institute, whose research is ranked in the Global Top 40 by the QS World University Rankings. Westminster had an income of £170.4 million in 2012/13, of which £4.5 million was from research grants and contracts.Westminster is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EFMD, the European University Association and Universities UK. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SESAR-RIA | Phase: Sesar-05-2015 | Award Amount: 742.96K | Year: 2016

Vista examines the effects of conflicting market forces on European performance in ATM, through the evaluation of impact metrics on four key stakeholders, and the environment. The project comprises a systematic, impact trade-off analysis using classical and complexity metrics, encompassing both fully monetised and quasi-cost impact measures.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-06-2016 | Award Amount: 4.24M | Year: 2017

SMEs and public sector organizations increasingly investigate the possibilities to use cloud computing services in their everyday business conduct. Accessing services and resources in the cloud on-demand and in a flexible and elastic way could result in significant cost savings due to more efficient and convenient resource utilization that also replaces large investment costs with long term operational costs. On the other hand, the take up of cloud computing by SMEs and the public sector is still relatively low due to limited application-level flexibility and also security concerns. The Cloud Orchestration at the Level of Application (COLA) project aims to increase the adoption of cloud computing services by the above mentioned two strategic target communities. Typical industry and public sector applications require resource scalability and efficient resource utilization in order to serve a variable number of customers with dynamic resource demands, and to suitably optimize resource consumption and costs. However, the dynamic and intelligent utilization of cloud infrastructure resources from the perspective of cloud applications is not trivial. Although there have been several efforts to support the intelligent and coordinated deployment, and to a smaller extent also the run-time orchestration of cloud applications, no comprehensive solution has emerged until now that could be applied in large scale near operational level industry trials. The overall objective of the COLA project is that by building on and extending current research results, it will define and provide a reference implementation of a generic and pluggable framework that supports the optimal and secure deployment and run-time orchestration of cloud applications. COLA will demonstrate the applicability and impact of the solution via large scale near operational level SME and public sector pilots and demonstrators, and will also define a clear pathway how the innovation can be delivered to the market.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2013.4.1-6 | Award Amount: 19.27M | Year: 2014

In recent years, the frequency of large-scale forest fires has increased significantly owing to a number of factors including the effects of climate change, urbanisation, poor landscape management and malevolent acts. These so-called Mega-fires are particularly destructive and difficult to control with the technologies and systems currently available to fire fighters and emergency agencies. The AF3 project intends to provide an extraordinary improvement to the efficiency of current fire-fighting operations and to the protection of human lives, the environment and property by developing innovative technologies and means to ensure a high level of integration between existing and new systems. To reach this objective, AF3 project focuses on the following areas: Innovative active countermeasure: implementation of the novel AAFF (Advanced Aerial Fire Fighting) system to accurately and safely disperse extinguishing materials from high altitude by aircrafts and helicopters in any condition: day and night, regardless of weather, smoke and configuration of terrain. It will enable a quick 24H response, minimizing fire duration and damages. The AAFF system can be adapted to a wide variety of aircrafts or helicopters. Innovative passive countermeasures: fast build-up of preventive defensive lines of capsules to prevent the spreading of fire from forest to populated areas Early detection and monitoring: integration and deployment of diverse systems including satellites, aeroplanes, UAVs, and both mobile and stationary ground systems for the early detection of fire and for monitoring the propagation of smoke and toxic clouds. Integrated crisis management: the innovative AF3 Core Expert Engine will perform overall coordination of all fire fighting missions. The results of AF3 will be validated by intermediate tests during the project, and by a final demonstration with flight tests and drilling exercises carried out simultaneously in Spain, Italy, Greece and Israel.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-10-2015 | Award Amount: 2.34M | Year: 2016

Communication and information distribution are key components of a modern society. The advent of the Internet has been often invoked as a remedy for their democratization. The truth shows a different picture: the digital divide is widening the gap between those who can access and take advantage of the new systems, and those who remain disconnected. The Internets unsustainability, coupled with the lack of awareness of the actual complexity of the Internets organisation, means that users are mostly unaware of the potentials of digital interaction and, most of all, of the possibility to have a bottom-up, democratic, communal organisation of it. netCommons studies an emerging trend: community-based networking and services that can offer a complement to the global Internets model. Community networks not only offer to citizens the access to a neutral, network infrastructure, which naturally increases the transparency of data flow, storage and use, but they also represent the archetype of networked collective cooperation and action. Community networks are complex systems that require multiple skills to thrive: technical, legal, socio-economic, and more. They face many challenges and they need means and tools to grow and produce a higher impact on society. netCommons follows a dual approach to achieve its goals: 1) It works at a local level, mingling with the communities to gather relevant information, elaborate it, and return them advanced tools to grow and thrive; 2) Starting from the hands-on experience and work, it contributes to Internet Science by abstracting concepts: it studies and offers solutions and interpretations, that can be used by legislators and decision makers, to build global awareness of the importance of sustainability, participation, co-operation, on-line information, democracy, peer production, and how to foster the development of community networks to generate socio-economical opportunities based on this paradigm of Internet Science.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-5.2-2014 | Award Amount: 3.98M | Year: 2015

Goods, waste and service trips in urban areas impose negative traffic and environmental impacts, and there is a need for further roll-out of cost-effective and sustainable solutions. The CITYLAB objective is to develop knowledge and solutions that result in roll-out, up-scaling and further implementation of cost effective strategies, measures and tools for emission free city logistics in urban centres by 2030. The project focuses on four axes for intervention due to their present and future relevance and impact related to topic MG-5.2 objectives: 1) Highly fragmented last-mile deliveries in city centres; 2) Large freight attractors and public administrations; 3) Urban waste, return trips and recycling; 4) Logistics facilities and warehouses. CITYLAB will i) improve basic knowledge and understanding on areas of freight distribution and service trips in urban areas that have received too little attention; ii) test and implement 7 innovative solutions that are promising in terms of impact on traffic, externalities and business profitability and have a high potential for future growth; and iii) provide a platform for replication and spreading supported solutions. The core of CITYLAB is a set of living laboratories, where cities work as contexts for innovation and implementation processes for public and private measures contributing to increased efficiency and sustainable urban logistics. Linkages will be established between the different living labs for exchange of experiences and to develop methodologies for transfer of implementations between cities and between companies. This process will be supported by a strong research team. The outputs from the living labs will include best practice guidance on innovative approaches and how to replicate them. CITYLAB will lay the ground for roll-out, up-scaling and transfer of cost-effective policies and implementations that lead to increased load factors and reduced vehicle movements of freight and service trips in urban areas.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-13c-2015 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

MIN-GUIDE is a project addressing the need for a secure and sustainable supply of minerals in Europe by developing a Minerals Policy Guide. The key objectives of the project are (1) providing guidance for EU and MS minerals policy, (2) facilitating minerals policy decision making through knowledge co-production for transferability of best practice minerals policy, and (3) fostering community and network building for the co-management of an innovation catalysing minerals policy framework. This will be achieved through a systematic profiling and policy benchmarking of relevant policy and legislation in Europe, which includes the identification of innovation friendly best practices through quantitative indicators and a qualitative analysis country-specific framework conditions, as well as through the compilation of minerals statistics and reporting systems. These insights will form the basis for developing an interactive, tailor-made online Minerals Policy Guide. Another key feature of the MIN-GUIDE project will be knowledge co-production for minerals policy decision makers through Policy Laboratories exploring these best practice examples along the whole mineral production value chain (exploration and extraction, processing, recycling and mine closure). Furthermore, MIN-GUIDE will facilitate the building of a sustainable minerals policy stakeholder network through this knowledge co-production and utilization in Policy Laboratories as well as through three major Conferences. These Conferences will explore the minerals governance framework, work on recommendations for promoting innovation along the whole minerals production value chain, and put it into the wider context of the circular economy. The MIN-GUIDE project and in particular the dissemination of the Minerals Policy Guide to specific target audiences will have the expected impact of guiding EU MS and EU level minerals policy-making towards a more coherent, transparent and innovation-catalysing framework.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EID | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EID | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2015

There is a general consensus that biomedical polymers of natural and synthetic origin should and will play a very important role in the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat diseases. Due to resistance of bacteria to drugs, infection has become one of the toughest problems in the medical world as there are hardly any effective antibiotics left in the fight against many pathogens. This project aims to develop new therapies through a new combination of technology (a) development of new hybrid polymers with antibacterial functionality,(b) introduction of inhibitors that can permanently deactivate bacteriological proteases and (c) new formulations of bioactive ceramics and glasses that have specific charge potential to prevent bacterial growth. The challenge is to develop new medical polymers that have an intrinsic antibacterial functionality to achieve clinical effectiveness in the field. To develop the challenge to practical medical solutions, a new generation of industrial professionals is needed. They should have a solid multidisciplinary background complemented by the required academic and industrial experiences. The objective of this network is to train young PhD researchers to fill this demand in the strategic area of drug-free antibacterial hybrid biomedical polymers. This EID programme will achieve this by a joint training programme of world class academic and industrial institutes who will provide hands-on training in state of the art research projects related to key fundamental issues that determine the future new therapies of antibacterial biomaterials. The goal is to develop professionals that will play a pivotal role in pushing forward this challenging and knowledge-intense field for the coming decades to benefit the European economy, bring state-of-the-art technology to industry with advanced products for hospitals and personal health care and contribute to the development of therapeutic strategies to improve the quality of life.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: ESRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 397.47K | Year: 2016

This project focuses on informal settlements in South Africa (SA), which are often characterised by the lack of basic services and infrastructure (eg safe sanitation, reliable electricity), poorly performing building materials (eg wood, cardboard, metal sheets, mud) without any building plans approved and often on illegally-accessed and hazardous land. The idea that the communities in informal settlements should be involved in improving their homes and neighbourhoods is often discussed in the international development community. However, the tools and processes needed to ensure a successful upgrade of environmental and construction management are poorly understood, and top-down policies used by central and local government in SA have not been successful to date. If communities can improve their neighbourhoods through participatory techniques, enhancing construction skills and using available materials, then there could be local, regional and national environmental, social and economic benefits. The research seeks to explore the underpinning barriers and enabling drivers for communities to upgrade their informal settlements in SA. The central question for this research is how can participatory approaches be utilised in an environmental and construction management strategy to achieve self-reliance in informal settlements in Durban. This question will be investigated under six discrete project phases. Phase 1: Local Context and Gap Analysis (UKZN) -Examining factors that have helped communities in Durban upgrade their housing and communities, and barriers to upgrading. Phase 2: Mapping Urban Transitions through Community Participation (Westminster) Through a participatory action-research methodology, the project team will produce findings on bottom-up construction and environmental management in Namibia Stop 8 (NS8) with the involvement of the community living there. NS8 is a good practice case study in Inanda, Durban. Phase 3: Integrated Closed-Loop Environmental Management Systems (UCL with UKZN) - Exploring the potential of closed-loop systems where wastewater generated from NS8 can be reused for agriculture. - Investigating the processes, partnership models and business models required to ensure resilient infrastructure is provided. Phase 4: Skills Enhancement in Construction (Westminster) - Mapping the skills developed and enhanced through the self-build approach adopted in NS8. - Transferring lessons from the UK Government Construction 2025 Strategy. Phase 5: Developing and Testing an Integrated Collaborative Toolkit (Westminster and UKZN) - Bringing together the key findings of individual Phases 1 to 4, this toolkit will take the form of a dynamic decision-making model, which will map potential ways for communities, businesses, and policymakers to collaborate. It will also identify the resources required, skills developed, and the business models created for mobilising private sector involvement and economic growth. Phase 6: Project Management, Communication and Dissemination (Westminster with UKZN) - Allocating around 10% of the total cost of grant to communicate and disseminate findings to a varied audience. The dissemination strategy will include: project website, branding, social media, dissemination material, and dissemination events (UK and SA). The research findings are intended to impact on SA government policy and practice in the field of sustainable urban transitions, building on best practice from the UK. However, this does not negate the potential to transfer knowledge from SA back to the UK or elsewhere. The intended target audience includes local communities seeking to enhance their quality of life and well-being and local authorities enhancing their planning. The research outputs can be also utilised by international agencies (eg UN), policy-makers and practitioners working on upgrading programmes, plans and policies, particularly under the SDG post-2015 development agenda.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 533.03K | Year: 2016

Bass Culture is a response to the disengagement and lack of education surrounding the heritage of Jamaican and Jamaican-influenced music in Britain over the last six decades. A direct line can be traced from pioneering British sound systems in the 1960s to modern chart-topping artistes such as Soul2Soul, Goldie, and Tiny Tempah. Jamaican music is recognised as a key catalyst in integration and multiculturalism in London and beyond. An understanding of the contribution made by the Jamaican community is also vital for anyone researching and performing popular music production, dance, and fashion. This heritage is, however, largely a hidden history, and its value and importance is underestimated by both the Jamaican and wider communities in the UK. This history is neither readily available to schools or universities, nor to other cultural institutions such as archives and museums. In addition, in the absence of research and preservation this history is being lost. First generation pioneers are now in their 80s, making the capture of their experiences urgent. Many physical objects were not created with a view to longevity, and are often valued more as family heirlooms than community heritage. This project will locate, capture and preserve memories, experiences and ephemera from three generations of musicians, music industry participants, and audience members. The term Bass Culture has been adopted to identify the British experience, as separate to the Jamaican. Bass Culture will be the first in-depth retrospective of Jamaican music in the UK. The University of Westminsters Black Music Research Unit (BMRU) will operate as a central hub for research and link to the community, working with School of Oriental and African Studies, and Black Cultural Archives (BCA). The research will be conducted through oral history and archival work, led by professional researchers but involving community volunteers at every stage who will receive training. Researchers will conduct 100+ interviews, with additional material solicited from the community directly. Archival research will be conducted primarily at BCA and British Library-Popular Music section. Community volunteers will also work with Fully Focused Community, a youth media organisation, to create their own oral history-based 60-90 minute film, focusing both on key individuals within the history of Jamaican-inspired music in Britain, and also exploring the participants experience of rediscovering this history. Four inter-generational workshops will allow community members from three generations to share and discuss their memories and feelings as music makers and consumers. Volunteers will perform and talk about their music and what it means to them, and also curate a new soundtrack for the Exhibition. The research will form the basis for a free landmark Exhibition at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, to be accompanied by a programme of events and publications aimed at both general public and academic communities. Running for 5 months, BCA anticipates 10,000 visitors. The project will have a further legacy when the Exhibition tours. A Web Portal will provide an ongoing hub for publicising the project and opportunities for community involvement. The Portal will be used to solicit additional interviews or recollections from family, neighbours, etc, using personal equipment such as mobile phones or tablet computers, and will also extend our reach beyond London. Academic outputs include an edited, contextualised volume of oral histories, and a monograph focussing on the period 1976-81. Two academic conferences will further explore the heritage uncovered before, and after, the Exhibition, and papers presented will be used as the basis for the first two issues of a new scholarly journal on black music research.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-STG | Phase: ERC-StG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2016

The ambition of this cutting edge research project is to deliver a ground breaking, interdisciplinary design-driven inquiry into the impacts of changing monsoon climates in three of South Asias rapidly growing cities. This will be undertaken at a time when climate change and urban development conspire to produce unlikely futures for urban survival. Extreme weather events, all attributed to the monsoons capricious nature, are resulting in increasing frequency in water shortages, power failures, floods, out-breaks of disease, damage to property and loss of life. In responding to these events, the project will challenge the dominant view of the monsoon as a natural meteorological system outside of and distinct from society. Instead it will propose that the monsoon is a co-production of physical and social dynamics entangled within historic lived environments that can be analyzed, worked with, shaped and changed. To do so, an unconventional interdisciplinary team will develop a novel research methodology around the new operative concept of monsoon assemblages. This will bring together the spatial design disciplines with the environmental humanities to advance research of lived environments as indivisibly natural, social and political and to propose models for intervening in them through design. The project aims to shift conceptions and understandings of the monsoon as a natural meteorological system; to deliver a ground breaking new approach to the design of cities by treating the monsoon as an organizing principle of urban life, not an external threat; to assess the potential impact of this approach for urban policy, planning and infrastructure investment; to assess the new political, theoretical and aesthetic agendas for the spatial design disciplines and the environmental humanities this opens up; and to engage critically with the climate change adaption paradigm through the innovative idea of climate co-production.

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