> UNIVERSITY OF BATH

USING TECHNOLOGIES FROM THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES TO SOLVE REAL-WORLD PROBLEMS

The University of Bath
The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities both in terms of research and reputation for excellence in teaching, learning and graduate prospects.

Primarily located at the Claverton Down campus on the edge of Bath the University has 18,800 students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, representing more than 130 nationalities.

The University is one of the largest employers in Bath, with 3,500 staff. It supports thousands of additional jobs in the region. It has been calculated that the University generates hundreds of millions of pounds for the region’s economy.

The University’s teaching is rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the Government’s assessment of teaching quality in universities, meaning it is of the highest quality in the UK, and the University’s graduate outcomes are among the best in the UK. Almost 90 % of our first-degree graduates work in the top three occupational groups, compared to 74 % of employed graduates nationally and around
two-thirds of the University’s students will undertake work placements as part of their degree. Many graduates stay on to live and work in the West Country after their time studying in Bath.

The University of Bath is ranked highly in all national league tables, including 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2021, and 9th in both The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, and the Complete University Guide 2021.

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 87 % of the University’s research was defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. From developing fuel efficient cars of the future, to identifying infectious diseases more quickly, or understanding the potential of artificial intelligence, research from Bath is making a difference around the world.

The University has also been working jointly with B&NES and other key stakeholders to use its research expertise and tackle challenges specific to its home city. As part of the Our Shared Future initiative University academics and students are working on developing more energy efficient and low-carbon buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage City, exploring the potential policymaking benefits of ‘Digital Twins’, computer simulations using real-world data, and evaluating the impact of the Community Wellbeing Hub, which integrates services from the Council, Virgin Care (for the NHS) and voluntary and community sectors for people in need of support and advice.

CAMERA (Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications) is a world leading multi-disciplinary research centre for intelligent visual and interactive technology.

Its research spans three themes: Creative Science & Technology, Digital Health & Assistive Technology, and Human Performance Enhancement. Projects include digitising the motion of different dog breeds to use in the entertainment industry, using motion capture technology to monitor sports performance of skeleton athletes, and developing custom fit prosthetics liners for amputees.

Research at CAMERA fuses visual computing, AI and human-computer interaction (HCI) with healthcare, rehabilitation and biomechanics.

CAMERA has wide-ranging research collaborations including partners from the creative arts and entertainment industry, health sector and elite sports associations. It also has partnerships with research institutes in the UK, Europe, China, New Zealand and Japan.

The Centre is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the UK Government’s Next Stage Digital Economy Centre Programme, as well as from 29 partners across the creative industries, sport, healthcare and engineering.

In 2020, CAMERA announced it was to become part of the South West’s new creative media powerhouse, MyWorld.

The £46m visionary initiative, a partnership between the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Bath Spa University and the University of the West of England, will develop major new research and development (R&D) facilities and partnerships connecting regional and national partners with global tech giants, including Netflix, Google, and Microsoft.

Together they will pioneer new digital formats and technologies, creating innovative experiences across fiction, documentary, games, and live performance.

The programme at Bath will be led by CAMERA’s Director, Professor Darren Cosker and Professor in Human Computer Interaction and leader of the CREATE Lab, Danaë Stanton Fraser.

Professor Cosker said: “As part of MyWorld, CAMERA will be leading the development of substantial capital investments in research infrastructure around performance capture, immersive technology and virtual production. In addition, we will be leading a multi-million-pound R&D programme open to both universities and industry.

“From a research point of view, we will be leveraging the power of data and AI to create tools that both assist creativity and improve productivity. This builds on CAMERA’s already significant activities in this area, where we already work with more than 20 partners across the UK and globally trying to transform the use of technology in the creative sector as well as its applications to other areas such as sport and healthcare.”

2021 will see the launch of CAMERA’s new Innovation Motion Capture Studio at The Bottle Yard Studios in Hengrove, south Bristol, following support from the European Structural Investment Fund. Offering state-of-the-art technology combined with tailored resources and consultancy, it will create invaluable new production and post-production opportunities to a wide spectrum of companies in the region.

New home for School of Management to anchor collaboration
As one of the UK’s leading business schools, the University of Bath’s School of Management engages closely with business and society to influence the present and shape the future.

The University is investing £70 million in a landmark building that will enable the School to move to the next stage in the development of its teaching, research and student experience, strengthening its position among UK business schools and supporting its aim of becoming a top 50 global business school.

The new building, which is planned to open in time for the 2022/23 academic year, will embody the School’s understanding of a 21st century management school, driving creativity, ambition and innovation, and supporting the School’s core philosophies of ‘engagement, education and collaboration.’

The project is anticipated to create over 100 new jobs on campus and will bring considerable benefits to the City of Bath and wider economy, predicted to be over £240 million of value over 25 years.

The University has retained Hopkins Architects which has pioneered British architecture since 1976 on projects throughout the world including the London 2012 Velodrome; the Wellcome Trust’s Gibbs Building; and high-quality educational buildings at universities including Cambridge, University College London, Princeton and Harvard.

The new building will feature:
A Student Entrepreneurship Lab – for students from across the University to work together on business creation and innovation

An Employment Hub – for business and industry partners to visit and help prepare students for the workplace

A Behavioural Research Lab – to study real and digital environments

An HPC Supply Chain Innovation Lab – open to local SMEs and the larger multinationals they work with eight lecture theatres and a 250 seat Conference Auditorium

Inspiring collaboration between students, academics and corporate partners is at the heart of the School and the building will nurture that in an open layout, encouraging joint working to flourish.

The intention is to foster entrepreneurial thinking that develops a vibrant ecosystem of inspiration, initiation and acceleration to establish the School of Management as an anchor point in the local and regional business community

POWERING NEW WAYS OF WORKING AND INNOVATION IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

IAAPS case study – Powering new ways of working and innovation in the automotive industry
A new University of Bath research facility will provide a world-class boost to the South West’s engineering credentials – and in addition to helping to plan out how the vehicles of the future will be powered, it will lead the way in creating new ways of working in the automotive industry.

IAAPS, the Institute of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems, will be opening the doors to its new research and innovation facility at the Bristol and Bath Science Park in mid 2021. The purpose-built site comprises 17 state-of-the-art test laboratories designed to enable deep insights into the development of future generations of ultra-low and zero-emissions vehicles, and help auto manufacturers improve efficiency and meet future air quality standards.

Building on 40 years of automotive propulsion systems expertise at Bath, the Institute was the first in the UK to be created specifically to develop the tools and skills needed to accelerate the development of digital engineering, research and development, and to facilitate innovation at companies of all sizes.

Digital engineering points to the future
Despite joint ventures and partnerships being commonplace within the automotive industry, true sharing of information has always proven difficult. IAAPS staff have identified the ever-widening application of digital integration design tools (DIDT) as one area in which everyone can benefit.

Designing and testing parts and systems digitally, prior to them being physically produced, is seen as a key way to save both time and money spent in development. The new IAAPS research and innovation facility will be able to measure the performance of components, parts and full systems, while integrating both physical and virtual assets into testing.
“The automotive industry is a long way from having the digital tools we need to meet the intense cost and timescale pressures ahead,” says Professor of Advanced Powertrain Systems and Deputy Academic Director of IAAPS, Sam Akehurst.

The institute is a part of the South West’s Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) programme, a strategic two-year £8.85m collaborative initiative to bring together leading companies, technology disruptors and universities. It aims to push the boundaries of the digitally enabled engineering of the future, helping UK businesses maintain engineering leadership.

Creating future automotive leaders
The opening of the IAAPS facility will build on over 40 years automotive propulsion research at the University of Bath. Representing a £30m investment by the University, it is recognised as a nationally-important site and has attracted funding from local and national government totalling a further £40m. Predicted to deliver £220m in economic value and £800m of additional turnover in the automotive industry within five years, IAAPS will also provide the necessary skills required by the UK’s automotive industries. Developing 300 apprentices and Masters- and PhDlevel experts is a key training target.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems is a remarkable hybrid think-and-do tank where science, behaviour change and future engineering meet.

Bringing together students from backgrounds in engineering, sciences, mathematics and social sciences, the depth of knowledge and breadth of skills delivered by the Integrated MRes and PhD programme will equip students to take leading roles in addressing the complex challenges in the UK propulsion industry.

Led by academic experts from across the University, research themes including low carbon fuels, driver and user behaviour, and policy and economics provide a full 360 degree approach to transforming mobility, redefining the way we move and developing the clean, sustainable and affordable transport solutions of the future.

UNIVERSITY OF BATH

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