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Computer scientists target £60bn funding bonanza

November 12 2013


World-leading computing scientists at Glyndŵr University are targeting a £60billion European research fund after revolutionary progress in the study of future and emerging technologies (FET).

Vic Grout, Professor of Computing Futures at the Wrexham University, has spearheaded FET work at the Wrexham institution for five years and believes the department’s innovative research leaves them well-placed to garner finance when Horizon 2020 is launched next year.

The six-year initiative – formerly known as Framework Programme (FP) funding - is aimed at securing global competitiveness as part of the EU’s new programme for research, innovation and a drive to create jobs and economic growth across the continent.

With a raft of projects being drawn up at Glyndŵr, Prof Grout says he and his colleagues will work hard to win support from Horizon 2020 for the benefit of current and prospective students.

Glyndŵr’s Computing Department achieved success in achieving FP6 money when it drew down approximately three million Euros for a project with other universities in Spain and Germany and the industrial companies Bosch and Siemens; the EASYLINE+ project saw Dr Rich Picking, a Reader in Human-Computer Interaction, and colleagues develop a range of intelligent kitchen appliances for use by elderly or disabled people.

CAIR’s specialist role was to develop the device interfaces, particularly those allowing remote control. In the EASYLINE+ system, all food and clothing was marked with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that can be read by sensors in various appliances to detect open/closed doors, flood, steam and excessive heat.

Prof Grout hopes to again prove Glyndŵr University’s award-winning Computing department – judged ‘world-leading’ in the last UK research assessment (RAE 2008) – is worthy of financial support.

“We have already made our mark in the study of future and emerging technologies, we have been teaching and researching it for years,” he said.

“Our academics and students are constantly looking at what is being developed worldwide, what is coming up in the sector and what the future is going to be like, not just technologically but socially, culturally and economically.

“We deliver lectures on this throughout the year; the students digest that information and come back with research arguments and presentations of their own on the concept of ‘futurology’ and what they believe will happen in years to come. 

“It’s fascinating and all gets fed in to the next year of the curriculum so we’re all constantly learning, striving to know more and building on our research.  This concept has been praised time and time again by external assessors.”

Prof Grout added: “We already have lots of ideas surrounding the notion of immersive learning environments and scenarios.

“With the strides we’ve made in FET we’re very confident we can obtain funding that will bring these ideas to fruition, not just for Glyndŵr University and its students but for the local economy as well. We’re going to work hard to make that a reality.”

Read more from Professor Vic Grout here:


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