A new report from the University Alliance finds collaboration and connectivity are key to securing the future of UK research and innovation.
Collaboration and connectivity must be top priorities for universities and funders if the UK is to continue to lead the world in research and innovation, the report concludes.
Britain’s research and innovation ecosystem is a national success story, but increased global competition means that for it to continue to flourish, it will need greater collaboration and more effective connections with different partners – partners from within academia, business, charities and governments.
Alongside the report, the University Alliance has also launched a new website resources, featuring more than 60 impact case studies submitted by UA institutions to the REF2014. These showcase the excellent research happening across UA institutions and demonstrate the impact their research is already having in the UK and across the world.
Three of Bournemouth University’s case studies feature in the resource, demonstrating the impact our research is having on patients and their families, in industry and in the NHS. The examples also show how BU is already working extensively with external partners and using its research excellence to make a tangible difference to society.
Biomedical research at BU, in collaboration with Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, has pioneered the use of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) systems – a method of externally controlling muscles – to help improve the quality of life for people with neurological disabilities. People with a spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis or brain damage following a stroke often face mobility difficulties. FES systems can make a significant difference to mobility, which in turn reduces people’s dependence on others, possibly isolation as well as improving movement.
BU’s research has also made a significant difference in the world of 3D animation. A new method of improving motion blur was developed at BU, which significantly improved image quality and viewer experience .
Prosopagnosia is a little known condition, which affects people’s ability to recognise faces. This can cause severe social and educational difficulties in children. Researchers at Bournemouth University have developed new diagnostic tools and treatments for face blindness, as well as working to raise awareness of the prosopagnosia. Awareness of the condition among professionals is low, so academics have also worked to gain recognition for it within the NHS.
The report and case studies demonstrate the excellent research already going on across the UK and the impact that it is having on industry, society and improving people’s lives. Together they make a strong case for the need for continued investment in research.