Winter 2021 | Issue 19 Research and Enterprise Magazine
Knowledge to change the world Southampton’s strength in knowledge exchange and enterprise is continually growing through ground-breaking work NO SWEAT Enterprising Health Sciences research that’s influencing everyday product design
COPPER VS COVID Discovering how copper works as a secret weapon against COVID
A YEAR OF SIAH Celebrating the busy first 12 months of the Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities
MASSIVE SUCCESS Sharing our knowledge in a big way via MOOCs
WELCOME TO RE:ACTION The University of Southampton has a longstanding proud tradition of strength in enterprise. As we finalise the new University Strategy it is fitting that we are using the notion of a triple helix of Research, Education and Enterprise as being the key organising principle for the University, with our people at the heart of what we do. This strategy places knowledge exchange and enterprise (KEE) as being of equal importance in the University’s mission as the other two strands. This is distinctive for our University and will also help us articulate our commitment to some of the key elements of the UK Government’s strategy for our recovery from COVID and for future growth and productivity, including the Innovation Strategy, Skills Strategy and the forthcoming Levelling Up Strategy. Our KEE ecosystem is characterised by its diversity, and this edition of Re:action provides ample evidence of this. It also indicates how our KEE activities link to education and research, illustrating the synergies that give the triple helix its strength. Examples include the in-curricular entrepreneurship education provided by the Business School, the coupling of education, research and enterprise represented by the Zepler Institute and ViridiCo2, a new spin-out that is drawn from our strength in fundamental catalyst research. We also feature mechanisms that help make these links and help people and their activities deliver an impact, such as the Impact Acceleration Accounts and our Entrepreneurs in Residence, who are making important contributions to mentoring individuals as well as working at the institutional level.
We should also be clear that much of our KEE activity does not deliver a direct commercial return, but does contribute to our cultural and public engagement, such as the new Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities and many of our MOOCs. This cultural engagement is also key as Southampton drives forward its bid to be City of Culture 2025, a bid which we as a University are fully supporting and contributing towards. Our strength in diversity was also recognised earlier this year by our very strong performance in Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework. I very much hope that you enjoy the articles in this edition. As always, comments and feedback are very welcome. Best wishes
Professor Mark Spearing Vice-President (Research and Enterprise)
southampton2025.co.uk | #SO25
PLEASE SEND US YOUR FEEDBACK We are keen to receive your feedback about Re:action. If you have any ideas, comments or suggestions, please send them to email@example.com Re:action is created by Louise Payne and Lucy Collie, Research and Innovation Services
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/ris
IN THIS ISSUE 8
How do I look?
Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise at Southampton
Copper vs COVID
A year of SIAH
Closing the acdemiaindustry gap
Accelerating our impact
New era of enterprise
An entrepreneurial mindset
Research award highlights
“ Knowledge Exchange is truly a two-way process. ” Diana Galpin Director of Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/ris
This edition of Re:action showcases a selection of our KE activities. We have badged them, as follows, to help identify where they fit into the world of KE and Enterprise:
KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE AND ENTERPRISE AT SOUTHAMPTON Knowledge Exchange (KE) and Enterprise are closely intertwined and, at the University of Southampton, go hand in hand. KE is the process through which knowledge and ideas move between academia and users of our research and knowledge. The KE activities we undertake provide a crucial role in achieving our University’s strategic purpose to change the world for the better and deliver impact. Diana Galpin, Director of Enterprise and KE at the University, said: “We undertake many activities to achieve KE – some with a clear commercial focus and an expectation to earn money, which is the ‘enterprise’ element; some that are undertaken more altruistically for societal and public good; and some that are designed to create
a vibrant ecosystem where creativity, inventiveness and innovation can thrive. Often projects straddle more than one of these aims.
time, the University is working with over 1,000 external organisations and over 40 per cent of our research projects involve one or more business partners.”
“KE is truly a two-way process. It is the route through which we bring in knowledge and experience from external stakeholders, partners and the public into the University. This, in turn, informs our research, education and innovation activities.
Earlier in 2021, the University’s achievements in entrepreneurial activities were recognised in the first Knowledge Exchange Framework. The University was placed in the top 10 per cent of all universities assessed for ‘Intellectual Property and commercialisation’, ‘Public and community engagement’ and ‘Working with the public and third sector’, and in the top 20 per cent for ‘Research partnerships’ and ‘Working with business’.
“We also achieve considerable KE through collaborative and contract research with non-academic partners, through secondments and placements. At any one
OUR ENTERPRISE UNITS: THE POWERHOUSES OF OUR ENTERPRISE ACTIVITIES The breadth of the University’s enterprise offering is reflected in the variety of enterprise units, spanning areas of expertise such as computer science, health, environmental data management, materials engineering and marine technology. Our enterprise units generate a combined income of about £35 million every year. They deliver services to SMEs, large corporates and to Governmental departments, and they enable the University to bring in vital funding to support our specialist research facilities. We have the following enterprise units: Academic Centre for International Students: The hub for language and cultural support for international students, delivering courses and pre-sessional programmes. Coastal and Offshore Archaeological Research Services (COARS): Providing archaeological services to industry where maritime archaeological mitigation and preconstruction research is required, such as windfarm development or offshore aggregate extraction. The Centre for Archaeology of Human Origins (CAHO) Contracting: Palaeolithic and Quaternary geological specialists provide expertise to industry and planning authorities to assist in the protection of the remains and evidence of our earliest ancestors. GeoData: Specialists in research, communication and management for a sustainable environment and society. GeoData has had a strong focus on integrated river catchment management and coastal zone management, but its remit extends across the whole field of environment, social and economic evaluation and development.
1 The Wolfston Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics 2 nC2 3 The µ-VIS X-Ray Imaging Centre
GAU-Radioanalytical Laboratories: Expertise in providing radioanalytical services, consultancy and research support for the government, industrial (nuclear and environmental) and academic sectors. ISVR Consulting: Professional consultancy and applied research in noise, vibration, acoustics and dynamics, with facilities including two reverberation chambers, a large anechoic chamber, a combustion noise rig and a range of electrodynamic shakers. The Wolfston Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics: Expertise in ship model testing, yacht performance and ship design software, with facilities including a 138-metre long towing tank. Auditory Implant Service: The service, commissioned by NHS England Specialist Services for Cochlear Implants and Bone Anchored Hearing Implants and Devices, was established in 1990 to help severely to profoundly deaf adults and children. Surgeons at the centre have implanted more than 2,000 auditory implant devices.
Wessex Institute: Provides expert management and provision of high-quality, practice-based research to support decisionmakers in health and healthcare. The institute is home to a number of nationally important, internationally-recognised centres, such as NETSCC, the Southampton Health Technology Assessment Centre, and Health and Care Research Wales funding schemes. Clinical Informatics Research Unit: Providing clinical research solutions and services around the world, advancing data excellence, and improving research methods. EDGE, one of the unit’s leading products, is a cloud-based clinical research portfolio management system. It has more than six million patients listed, 80 per cent of the NHS uses EDGE in the UK, it is used in 12 countries, with more than 135,000 active users. The Southampton Clinical Trials Unit: The Unit’s experts in the design, conduct and analysis of multicentre interventional clinical trials work in partnership with investigators to deliver high-quality trials that directly influence routine clinical practice. We also have other focused enterprise offerings, for example:
nC2: Expertise in material science, mechanical engineering and tribology, providing specialist advice to clients when choosing coatings, polymers and metal alloys for harsh environments.
µ-VIS X-Ray Imaging Centre: A highresolution X-ray tomographic imaging centre, offering advanced 3D imaging for the biomedical, engineering, environmental and archaeological sciences.
ECS Partners Limited: The professional consultancy company of Electronics and Computer Science, supporting clients to develop improvements in their business operations.
Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory: A centre for research into dielectric materials, insulation systems and related phenomena, with state-of-the-art facilities that are also used for commercial testing.
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/ris
ALLOWING INNOVATIVE NEW COMPANIES TO THRIVE A comprehensive support system – from programmes and training to IP and contract management – sits behind our strong track record in commercialising our research through spin-outs and start-ups.
innovation out of universities and into the marketplace. SETsquared also delivers the Scale-Up Programme, which provides tailored support for innovative businesses around the challenges of scaling up.
The Student Enterprise team supports students in developing enterprising and entrepreneurial skills. Opportunities include events, competitions, workshops, mentoring and generous funding opportunities, such as:
Since 2000, the University and its academic teams have formed 77 new ventures. More than 40 of these are formal University spinouts taking a licence to intellectual property, and the University has taken an equity position in 35. In 2021, our spin-outs raised more than £150 million in external investment.
And Future Worlds, our on-campus start-up accelerator, has supported more than 150 projects and launched more than 50 student and staff start-ups to date. Future Worlds’ Dragons’ Den event is an annual highlight, inviting innovative student start-ups to pitch live on stage to secure investment from millionaire investors.
• The Big Ideas funding competition to encourage innovation solutions to known problems across the student community, with Seed Funding of up to £2,500 and Accelerate Funding of up to £6,000 • A foundership grant fund and 12-week support programme over the summer period • One-to-one coaching and guidance • Freelance bootcamps, the Student Startup Challenge weekend, and Business Basics workshops
The University of Southampton Science Park is one of the biggest science parks and innovation centres in the UK, currently home to more than 100 businesses. The park is also home to the Catalyst programme, which fasttracks innovation-led businesses via six months of mentoring and workshops with worldclass business mentors. The programme has incubated 57 start-ups, 80 per cent of which are still trading. To date, Catalyst companies have raised £5 million in grants and £15 million in early stage investment. The University is also a founding partner of the SETsquared Partnership, which provides a comprehensive range of programmes to help take businesses to the next level. It is one of the delivery partners for Innovate’s ICURe programme, which is designed to move
Student enterprise Enactus Southampton is a student-run social enterprise society seeking to create innovative projects to help tackle social needs. Enactus Southampton is currently running three local projects, including providing creative arts-based sessions for isolated elderly residents, and one international project to develop a large-scale aquaponics system in India that they plan to also replicate in the UK. There is also the Social Impact Lab, a community for students to learn skills and knowledge through experience to lead sustainable social change. The lab runs a Speaker Series, a Social Enterprise Module, and local and international internships.
OUR KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE AND ENTERPRISE STRATEGIC PLAN The new University Strategy is due to be published in early 2022. Sitting alongside the Strategy will be the University’s Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise (KEE) Strategic Plan for 2022 to 2027. The draft KEE Strategic Plan, which is awaiting final approvals, sets out our vision: “That the University of Southampton delivers the greatest possible benefit to the economy, society and the environment through its KEE activities.”
Two new opportunities launching in Semester Two are the Student Enterprise Active Rewards Programme, a new online programme of activities and resources to kick-start the development of business or social enterprise ideas, and the Small Business Speed Launch, a three-day event hosted at Network Eagle Labs in Southampton to give students practical skills to launch over one weekend. This event will cover everything from logo design and website creation to accounts, invoicing, and business banking. 3
Achieving global impact through being bold and embracing risk and failure in order to learn and innovate is central to the draft strategic plan. Strategic goals set out in the plan include streamlining our processes, systems and customer journey; supporting staff and students to gain relevant skills to innovate; growing our income from KEE; and ensuring all KEE activities contribute to the University’s purpose – ‘to change the world for the better’ – in a sustainable way.
Our vision isn’t as good as we think it is. Whether you have 20/20 vision or need a bit of help, the amount of visual information we can absorb with our eyes is limited – and our brains fill in the missing parts.
HOW DO I LOOK? The Centre for Perception and Cognition runs an eye tracking laboratory with four state-of-theart Eyelink 1000 eye trackers in its laboratories.
Pioneering eye tracking research at Southampton is exploiting our eyes’ limitations to offer new, more effective methods for visual search tasks such as airport baggage screening, crime scene searches, explosives detection in war zones and spotting suspicious behaviour in crowded public spaces.
Psychology researchers from the University’s Eye Movement Research Unit, who are leading the research, have worked with Government departments, security professionals and the military to better understand how people look for things. Dr Hayward Godwin, Associate Professor in Psychology and member of the Centre for Perception and Cognition (CPC), is an expert in the field. He said: “Our vision is not as good as we think it is. We have to really look at things to work out what they are. Our eyes give us the impression that everything is nice and clear, but really it is our brains filling in the details. Eye tracking exploits this. If you watch what someone’s eyes are doing, you can work out what they are interested in and what information they are trying extract from the world around them.” The CPC runs an eye tracking laboratory with four state-of-the-art Eyelink 1000 eye trackers in its laboratories. The eye trackers can be taken to different venues, in the customised mobile research unit, for data collection.
The team has conducted research funded by the Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Department for Transport and the Home Office – all to better understand how we search.
Suspicious minds Countering modern-day terrorism by spotting suspicious behaviour in crowded venues was the focus of a project funded by the Home Office’s Defence and Security Accelerator. Hayward explained: “In this project, instead of having more security staff and equipment to seek out threats, it’s about trying to train members of the public to be good at spotting suspicious behaviour. An example is the British Transport Police’s campaign, See it. Say it. Sorted.” The CPC team compiled training materials, audio announcements and videos about spotting suspicious behaviour and threats in public places. They also ran experiments and focus groups using the new training materials. The findings were supported by eye movement examinations of people searching for threats in crowded public spaces. Safe as houses How would you go about searching a house for evidence of a bank robbery? Former CPC PhD student Dr Charlotte Riggs conducted an
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/psychology
Dr Hayward Godwin and Dr Stuart Pugh using the eye tracking equipment in the Eye Movement Research Unit
experiment, funded by Dstl, to find out how trained soldiers’ search methods differed from those of the lay public. Charlotte, who now works as a lecturer at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, set up an empty house in Southampton to look as if it were lived in. She and a team of students scoured charity shops for furniture and items to kit out the house, then hid paraphernalia such as drugs, cash and guns. Hayward explained: “Seventy-four participants wore head-mounted eye trackers, and we had participants working in teams looking for items related to a bank robbery. Using the eye tracking devices, we assessed how careful people were when they were searching. Did they strip back cupboards and go through boxes of food, and so on? “We compared the methods of the soldiers with how the undergraduates – who weren’t trained in searches – tackled the search. We found, as expected, that the undergraduates weren’t as systematic and thorough as the military personnel and that, therefore, the training given to these personnel is effective.” Patrol safety Another Dstl-funded project conducted with the military was an eye tracking study in Afghanistan in 2015.
The project team examined the influence of experience on the decisions made by military personnel as they conducted risk assessments of scenes photographed from patrol routes during the conflict in Afghanistan. Participants were asked to decide whether it would be safe to continue patrolling through the route shown, and the responses of experienced personnel versus those who had only done the basic training were compared – along with their eye movements. The project report states: “We found that both participant groups were equally likely to fixate Potential Risk Indicators (PRIs), demonstrating similarity in the selectivity of their information-sampling. However, the inexperienced participants made more revisits to PRIs, had longer response times, and were more likely to decide that the scenes contained a high level of risk. These results suggest that experience primarily modulates decision-making behaviour.”
miss it. If a target like a gun is present but someone says they cannot find it, is it because they haven’t looked at it, or is it because they have looked at it but failed to detect it?” Tracking eye movement behaviour can be used to answer this. Hayward added: “In real tasks, like at airports, it’s very rare for actual threats to appear. We have done a lot of work around eye tracking and how people tend to subconsciously give up on things that do not very often appear.” Another element to this is colour. “In airports, baggage screening operators are asked to look for guns, which are orange, and knives that are blue,” said Hayward. “We, as humans, are naturally not good at doing this – if we are asked to look for more than one colour, we are terrible at identifying either.”
Airport baggage Baggage security scanning, such as at airports, is another focus for the CPC.
Looking to current and future work building on this, Hayward added: “The team also has an ongoing project looking at current policy and procedures in UK airports. This has been delayed due to the pandemic but has now begun working again.”
“If you show a computer screen to someone and don’t record their eye movements, you don’t know what they have looked at,” said Hayward. “If they say something isn’t there, we don’t know how they have managed to
The team involved in these projects also includes Professor Nick Donnelly (Liverpool Hope University), Professor Simon Liversedge (University of Central Lancashire) and Dr Natalie Mestry (Bournemouth University).
COPPER VS COVID When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was one particular group of researchers who were more prepared than most to assist in the global effort to protect the population. Dr Sandra Wilks from Health Sciences and Professor Bill Keevil from Biological Sciences lead a team investigating the length of time viruses and bacteria can remain on surfaces, exploring the effectiveness of various decontamination methods, as well as a particular focus on the antimicrobial benefits of copper. Together with their team, which also includes Dr Catherine Bryant and Dr Rachel Owen, they have secured over £200,000 worth of consultancy funding since the start of the pandemic. Working with a range of SMEs and global companies, including some linked directly to overseas government departments, the team has been focusing primarily on the use of copper alloys in different product types.
The antimicrobial uses of copper Sandra is an interdisciplinary Lecturer in Medical Microbiology and has extensive experience in biofilm research, with a particular interest in understanding how complex microbial communities develop and can be detected. “Bill and I have been working together in this field for 20 years,” she explained. “Our research into the antimicrobial use of copper and its protection properties against fungi, bacteria and viruses has enabled us to provide consultancy to hundreds of organisations in that time. The pandemic and the research needed around COVID-19 means we are busier than ever.” Bill first published a paper in 2015 investigating how human coronavirus 229E, which is closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus which causes COVID-19, remains infectious on common touch surface materials such as stainless steel and how it can be rapidly
inactivated on a range of copper alloys. Bill said: “At the time very few people were publishing papers about coronavirus, so when COVID-19 began this was one of the key papers in this field of research.” Work by Sandra, Bill and the team has already led to the installation of antimicrobial touch surfaces globally in hospitals, supermarkets, on public transport and in a busy airport, and this has been further expanded during the pandemic. “Our work with external companies has centred, most recently, on testing the effectiveness of solid copper and copper alloy materials and coatings in combatting the spread of COVID-19,” explained Sandra. “We are working with Copper Cover Ltd to show that their copper powder spray inactivates SARS-CoV-2 in as little as one minute. The powder is cold sprayed at high velocity, forming a bond with the base
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/life-sciences
metal, stronger than a weld and producing a permanent, antimicrobial coating.” This spray has already been used to ‘copperise’ door, trolley and fridge handles at Morrisons supermarket in Totton, near Southampton, and several door handles in Building 85 at the University. Food standards Sandra and Bill’s team has recently been commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to carry out research exploring the survival of SARS-CoV-2 on the surfaces of various foods and food packaging materials at a range of temperatures, humidity levels and time periods. “We are conducting laboratory-based studies to artificially inoculate infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus onto these surfaces and then measure how the amount of infectious virus present on those surfaces declines over
time,” said Dr Catherine Bryant, who is the lead researcher. “We undertake our work at Southampton General Hospital in the University’s high containment laboratories where we have been able to work on various COVID-19 strains.” The FSA completed and published a risk assessment in 2020 concluding that it was very unlikely that you could catch coronavirus via food. The findings from the Southampton research will be used to confirm this assessment. Beyond COVID “We are hoping that all of this work will allow us to develop our translational and applied microbiology work,” said Sandra. “It will also help us understand microbial communities in different environments and how we can produce more effective antimicrobial products to ultimately reduce the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.”
“ Our research into the antimicrobial use of copper and its protection properties against fungi, bacteria and viruses has enabled us to provide consultancy to hundreds of organisations.” Dr Sandra Wilks Lecturer in Medical Microbiology, Health Sciences
A YEAR OF SIAH Southampton Institute for Arts and Humanities (SIAH) is celebrating its first birthday. Professor Nicky Marsh, Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, gave us an insight into its successes over the last 12 months and how enterprise activity has played a pivotal role.
“SIAH was launched in October 2020 in order to raise the visibility of our Arts and Humanities researchers and to enable them to lead on large research and enterprise projects,” explained Nicky. “We started with four priority questions to guide our mission – what does it mean to be well, how does technology make us, how do we weather uncertainty, what does it mean to rebuild and recover? Within SIAH we aim to align our critical and creative methodologies with the Government’s ‘grand challenges’, focusing contemporary research across the University and beyond.” In its first year, SIAH began to answer these four questions by assembling crossdisciplinary expertise in research, enterprise and knowledge exchange. Within SIAH there are two Co-Directors, Stephanie Jones and Jo Sofaer. Stephanie is responsible for project incubation and also leads on the Environmental Humanities; she works closely with SIAH theme leads Shelley Cobb (Wellbeing and Culture) and Seth Giddens (Science and Technology). Jo leads on Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange. Her work in running network events and developing external partnerships is supported by two Research Fellows in Creative Engagement, Adam Procter and Dan Ashton.
Capability for Collections “In order to allow us to offer cutting-edge facilities to our researchers and partners, renewal of our digital infrastructure was a priority in SIAH’s first year,” said Nicky. “We collaborated with colleagues from theLibrary to win a prestigious £710,000 AHRC Capability for Collections grant that allowed us to overhaul and renew our digital estate. We increased capabilities in digitisation and investigation of portable material culture and paper-based archives. We have furthered our competencies in digitisation and investigation of landscapes and the built environment, whilst also improving data handling, visualisation and engagement.” Public policy Understanding the role that Arts and Humanities research plays in shaping cultural policy, especially in the post-COVID context, became a pressing theme in first year of SIAH. The Institute hosted a series of webinars called RESET2020 , which explored the policy challenges faced by the cultural and heritage sectors. Nicky said: “For the webinar series we partnered with politicians, civil servants and regulators, including Andy Haldane from the Bank of England and Louise Smith from the
Professor Nicky Marsh, Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise, Faculty of Arts and Humanities
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/siah
“ We have supported a growing portfolio in creative technologies and on the interface between design and new technologies.” Professor Nicky Marsh Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise, Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.” The idea was to bring these figures into dialogue with policy makers from the Arts and Heritage sectors in order to better understand issues around culture and Levelling Up, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and the creative industries. SIAH has this year hosted two Knowledge Exchange Fellows from Historic England’s Wellbeing and Inclusion Team. They worked on developing heritage-based opportunities for social prescribing through the RESET2020 webinar series. These events built on the research expertise in the Arts and Humanities on issues around EDI, and current debates within the cultural and creative sectors. This expertise includes AHRC projects on women and film production; mentoring, diversity and poetry; publishing in Southern Africa; queer music and music theory; the accessibility of galleries and digital media justice.
Data Image Lab that will coordinate expertise in games design, AI projects, digital service design, AR/VR design and smart textiles. Enterprise and regeneration SIAH contributes to University-wide expertise on regional regeneration, particularly regarding coastal towns and the ‘levelling up’ agenda. “We have worked with local councils to deliver training, supporting regeneration in the ‘new normal’ and are developing consortiums across the region through our leadership of the Arts and Humanities-focused Coastal Creative Network,” said Nicky. “We have established connections with many local authorities and are developing these collaborations to unlock place-based funding that would be especially significant in areas with low higher education engagement and marked social deprivation.” Project incubation SIAH has supported knowledge exchange and enterprise projects in a multitude of areas. Nicky said: “We supported policy projects on the relationship between heritage and wellbeing in the aftermath of the pandemic and on COVID, obesity and poverty in public health and government communication.” SIAH is also working on literacy and the
creative industries in the region, supporting enterprise projects on the digital creative industries and developing online language courses in refreshing our e-language licensing. The next 12 months Outlining the coming year, Nicky said: ‘We are going to develop our cross-University work on enterprise and research. This includes a cross-faculty event on the Environmental Humanities, contributing to interdisciplinary events on the importance of narrative and storytelling and supporting cultural strategies for coastal towns.” An upcoming highlight is a Public Life/ Personal Research series SIAH is hosting. Public Life is conversations with high-profile speakers such as Gayatri Spivak, Professor of Humanities at Columbia University and Amercian author Shoshona Zuboff, which will explore ‘public life’: an ideal newly contested by the electronic capture of the commons, the removal of boundaries between work and home, the policing of public spaces and the onslaught of the culture wars. Personal Research is a series of themed workshops which will understand the post-COVID contexts for research. Watch this space.
Enterprise and technology “We have supported a growing portfolio in creative technologies and on the interface between design and new technologies,” said Nicky. “Our projects range from building a creative AI Lab and collaborating with Wimbledon Football Club on a digital museum of sport, to developing approaches for website-responsive composition. There is potential to further expand these relationships across a variety of scales and disciplines. We are already doing this across the region and have, for example, completed a large scoping project on digital creative industries across the central South.” SIAH is also working and collaborating nationally and internationally. It has researchers working with leading social media platforms and collaborating in the creation of an Innovative Hub in China (working in Suzhou’s Industry Park). The Institute is also working with colleagues in the Winchester School of Art as they develop a Global Smart Lab and
Visualising virtual sound sources: Waves of… VR stereoscopic image by Andreea Ogledean
For further information, visit: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/entrepreneur-in-residence
The Royal Society’s Entrepreneur in Residence scheme is breaking down barriers between industry and academia through the most simple but effective method: placing industrial scientists and entrepreneurs at the heart of our academic institutions. The scheme is proving a great success at Southampton.
CLOSING THE ACADEMIA-INDUSTRY GAP The Royal Society set up its Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) scheme five years ago. Since then, it has been bringing industry and academia closer together through appointing highly-experienced industrial scientists and entrepreneurs to spend one day a week at a university. The primary aim is to expose university staff and students to the scientific challenges faced by industry while providing support and expert advice aimed at promoting innovation and the translation of research by universities. Dr Duncan Holmes, one of the University of Southampton’s current EiRs, explained: “The quality of research that takes place at UK universities is well recognised, but the challenge for many years has been converting that research into commercial success. The Entrepreneur in Residence scheme is about breaking down the barriers between industry and academia.”
The Royal Society appoints a series of one-year EiR awards annually, which can be extended to two or three years. So far, 64 EiRs have been appointed across 38 universities. Southampton has had five so far – more than any other university to date. We currently have three EiRs at the University of Southampton – Duncan Holmes (Clinical and Experimental Sciences), Virginia Hodge (Electronics and Computer Science) and Chris Hobbs (Physics and Astronomy). Previous EiRs at the University were James Otter (Institute for Life Sciences) and Adam Hill (Physics and Astronomy). On the next page, we meet our three current EiRs to find out about their areas of expertise and how they are supporting our academics.
Clinical and Experimental Sciences
Physics and Astronomy
Duncan gained his Chemistry BSc and PhD at Southampton, then undertook postdoctoral research in Zurich, before working for GlaxoSmithKline for nearly 30 years. His career focused on early-stage drug discovery research, then concentrated on building collaborative drug discovery projects with academics across Europe.
Following his BSc and PhD in Physics, Chris worked for more than 30 years in industry, initially in materials characterisation, then in asset management and risk management. For the last three years, he has been Head of Business Strategy at the Satellite Applications Catapult.
He has been an EiR at Southampton since February 2020. He said: “The EiR role has given me a great opportunity to return to the University to meet with many talented researchers, working with them on a diverse range of innovative projects, aiming to create solutions to healthcare problems.” As EiR, Duncan has been offering a range of support including helping on translational grant submissions for funding, discussing the pros and cons about whether to pursue a start-up or an industrial collaboration, and helping people to optimise their research to attract companies to invest in collaborations with them. He has also been offering career mentoring, and has run a range of seminars around early drug discovery and engaging effectively with the pharmaceutical industry. Outlining what industry wants from academia, Duncan said: “Finding future recruits is a major focus for industry, as well as accessing fundamental research, and understanding the future landscape, accessing unique capabilities, and commercialising academic research.”
“ In large companies, it’s the people in business development or research groups working closest in your field that you should engage with in the first instance.” Duncan Holmes Clinical and Experimental Sciences
He also provided advice about finding the right person to engage with: “In large companies, it’s the people in business development or research groups working closest in your field that you should engage with in the first instance.” Duncan shared his tips on how to get started on working with industry: “Build your networks early through conferences and using LinkedIn, go to trade shows, join professional associations and contact the RIS Technology Transfer team who can help you to identify opportunities. When building a collaboration, develop a shared objective and take time to have regular communication throughout the project.”
The Satellite Applications Catapult is part of a network of ‘Catapults’ with different specialisms across the UK. The Catapults, which receive funding from Innovate UK, have a mission to build collaborations between research and development infrastructure and businesses, academia, charities, service providers, and end users, and to develop solutions to accelerate commercialisation. The other Catapults are in Medicine Discovery, Compound Semiconductor Applications, Energy Systems, High Value Manufacturing, Offshore Renewable Energies, Digital, Connected Places, and Cell and Gene Therapy. By 2019, there had been nearly 2,500 collaborations between Catapults and academic departments, more than 12,000 industry collaborations, nearly 500 international projects, and nearly 5,000 SMEs had been supported. As an EiR, Chris provides help for grant submissions, engages researchers with the satellite industry, helps decide if a start-up or an industry collaboration is the way forward, and supports on creating translational research plans. Chris also hosts career discussions and mentoring, and a series of seminars called Bitesize Business.
For further information, visit: https://royalsociety.org/grants-schemes-awards/grants/entrepreneur-in-residence
VIRGINIA HODGE Electronics and Computer Science (ECS)
Since her BSc in Computer Science and MSc in Project Management, Virginia has spent over 30 years working in highly technical areas of software and systems engineering, including as a software architect and working in strategic delivery. This work has primarily been within the industries of defence and aviation. She is also a former Vice-President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
“ The UK Space Agency has a target for Britain to capture 10 per cent of the global space economy by 2030. It is currently sitting at about six per cent.” Chris Hobbs Physics and Astronomy
Outlining the challenges facing his area of specialism, Chris said: “The current challenges facing the space sector are focused around delivering sector growth. The UK Space Agency has a target for Britain to capture 10 per cent of the global space economy by 2030. It is currently sitting at about six per cent. The Satellite Applications Catapult is focused on helping to address this shortfall. “Other challenges include an historical lack of sufficient regulatory control over the disposal of satellites, so there is now a high level of space debris to be dealt with. This isn’t all bad, as there is ctually a business opportunity. there for companies to resolve this.
As an EiR in ECS, Virginia has been giving guest lectures for students and staff, reviewing bids with an industry eye, demonstrating how the commercialisation of software can be improved, mentoring, acting as the interface between academia and professional bodies and supporting diversity initiatives within ECS. She said: “The EiR role has introduced me to the breadth and depth of ground-breaking research carried out at the University and the opportunity to help by providing guidance to those wanting to exploit it commercially.” Offering advice to academics, she said: “Working on industry projects, it’s important to know who you will be working with and to understand that industry is driven by cost, time and quality. Regular reviews of progress are important, and so is risk management. If your research is within areas of industry that are regulated, such as pharma, defence or aviation, it is important to understand that the regulators will require detailed processes to be followed prior to approving the product for use in service. It is important to recognise this at the start of the product development to ensure that their requirements are built into the project plan.”
“ Working on industry projects, it’s important to know who you will be working with and to understand that industry is driven by cost, time and quality.” Virginia Hodge Electronics and Computer Science
Virginia identified the main challenges facing the aviation and defence sectors as the modernisation of systems, political demands, regulatory control, and the high requirement for funding. As part of her EiR role, Virginia is Resident Mentor at Future Worlds, the University’s oncampus start-up accelerator.
“Funding is also a challenge for the space sector, as final capital raises are often significant, some running into the tens of millions of pounds.”
ACCELERATING OUR IMPACT Taking research into the real world and effecting change is what we all strive for. This mission sits at the heart of a set of strategic funding awards that are presenting new opportunities for collaborative projects.
Pots of money dedicated to boosting the impact of academic research are making a big difference here in Southampton – particularly when it comes to bringing academia and industry together. UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI’s) Impact Acceleration Accounts (IAAs) are strategic awards that were introduced in 2014. They are provided to researchintensive institutions to allow them to respond to impact opportunities in more flexible, responsive and creative ways, and to design and deliver activities that best suit their institutional strategies. Awards are intended to add value to existing funding and to take advantage of new or unforeseen opportunities to make ‘impact’ happen. They are designed to ensure research benefits society, the environment, culture, the economy, policy, services and health.
The IAAs at Southampton are managed centrally by RIS’ Impact Funding team alongside dedicated IAA funding panels, and they report to the Southampton Enterprise Board. Introducing NPIF One IAA that has been making a big impact is NPIF – the ESRC’s National Productivity Investment Fund – which supports Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and postgraduate students (PGRs) to collaborate and engage with businesses. Under NPIF, the University received a £100,000 award that started in February 2020 and runs until March 2022 to build on relations with the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership, which includes the universities of Portsmouth and Brighton. Leigh Purdie, Impact Funding Officer, explained: “The primary purpose of NPIF is to further develop the skills of social science
ECRs and PGRs, and increase confidence in working with industry, at the universities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton. “After COVID-19 hit, the NPIF steering committee, which has academic and professional services representation from all three universities, decided that to use NPIF funding to support businesses with COVID-19 recovery and resilience.” Two ECRs – Hien Nguyen from Southampton and Shuangfa Huang from Portsmouth – were appointed to work together, with the support of Director of Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange Diana Galpin, on a scoping project to analyse business needs with Hampshire and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnerships, councils and business growth forums. They then mapped these needs with key expertise from all three universities. The scoping project led to five NPIF-funded projects.
EVENTS AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES Skillfluence RIS’ Impact Funding team has collaborated with Skillfluence to deliver a series of training seminars – funded by the NPIF award – for ECRs keen to engage with industry. Sessions that have run to date include a two-day Working with Industry training and business networking event, a workshop on Employability and Engaging with Industry,
and an 11-week online course for social science ECRs and PGRs called Connecting with Industry. A series of free seminars has just ended, on topics including An Introduction to IP, Creative Innovation, Bench to Market, Science Communication, and Creative Problem-Solving.
is scheduled for March 2022, with final details to be confirmed. This event will be an opportunity for ECRs and PGRs to use the skills from their training and engage with invited local businesses in order to discuss ways in which their research knowledge can benefit these organisations.
‘Speed dating’ An NPIF-funded ‘speed dating’ event organised by University of Southampton
Details will be published on the Impact Funding team’s pages of the RIS SharePoint site when the event is finalised.
For further information, visit: www.ukri.org
Our other IAAs In addition to NPIF, RIS’ Impact Funding team holds three other Impact Acceleration Accounts. They are the ESRC IAA, the EPSRC IAA and the STFC IAA. They allow the University to respond to knowledge exchange opportunities with users of our research in more flexible, responsive and creative ways, such as through projects, secondments, events, training or building relationships to accelerate the translation of research outputs into impacts that will benefit society. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Supporting the COVID recovery The projects supported were: Hand-in-hand: Entrepreneurial Resilience and Entrepreneurial Identity Building, led by Dr Ekaterina Murzacheva from the University of Portsmouth’s Strategy, Enterprise and Innovation group. The project supported a restaurant business that was negatively affected by the pandemic, and provided training for those who were made redundant, lost their employment or became furloughed to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Social Enterprise Crowdfunding, Digital Competence and Post-Covid Recovery, led by Dr Raymond Xiaoti Hu, Lecturer in Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Southampton. This project has examined how crowdfunding and digital competence can support SMEs – particularly social enterprises – in their post-COVID-19 recovery.
Social and lifestyle differentials underlying health and wealth inequalities among the South Asian population in England, led by Dr Jason Hilton, Lecturer in Social Statistics and Data Science at Southampton. Data following the outbreak of COVID-19 shows evidence of disproportionate impact of the disease and mortality burden amongst ethnic minorities. The structural inequalities underlying this spread across a broad spectrum of demographic, social, economic, health behaviours, lifestyle and environmental factors, and these vary by geographic regions. Working with Asian Media Group, this project systematically documented the social and lifestyle indicators of consumer behaviours among different generations of South Asian communities and examined the underlying inequalities of wealth and health outcomes. Development of additional products and service ideas for Boatshed Ltd, led by Dr Phill McGowan, Interim Head of Marketing
Subject Group at Portsmouth. This project supported Boatshed Ltd, a local firm that sells second-hand boats, in developing ideas for new products and services by conducting a market assessment. Of particular note was the potential to develop a yacht sustainability rating that could be applied to both new and second-hand boats, which would inform potential buyers about the environmental impact of ownership and use. Digital transformation plan and optimisation of booking and scheduling system, led by Dr Fatema Zaghloul, Lecturer in the Business School at Portsmouth, and Dr Nigel Williams, Reader in Project Management at Portsmouth. The project team worked with a company that runs plumbing and electrical training for green energy installations. The aim was to propose improvements to the company’s current booking, student records and learning management systems, bringing in automation to improve information sharing.
HARMONISING THE IAAs Earlier this year, UKRI took the opportunity to ‘harmonise’ IAA funding across councils. In the first instance, this brings together – into one pot – IAA funding from AHRC, BBSRC, EPSRC, STFC and the MRC Confidence in Concept programme (our current ESRC IAA continues to March 2023).
Participants of the Hand-in-hand NPIF-funded project celebrating the outcomes of the project
The UKRI website states: “Through harmonisation, UKRI is seeking to better enable the generation of impact through
alignment of timelines and processes, including award duration and monitoring, to allow organisations to improve strategic planning for developing research impact across and between disciplines.” The outcome of our harmonised IAA applications is expected by February 2022.
Tiny temperature sensors on the skin to monitor changes in skin temperature as the participant interacts with different materials
NO SWEAT Did you know we don’t have a receptor in our skin for wetness? It’s a sensation we take for granted – an experience our brain picks up from other cues, such as temperature and touch. Pioneering research is exploiting these facts to influence everyday product design, from nappies to deodorants. We all know what it feels like to be wet. It’s often closely associated with a feeling of cold. But what is the science behind that feeling? It’s not as simple as you might think. Dr Davide Filingeri, Associate Professor in Skin Health within the School of Health Sciences, is dedicating his career to understanding how our brain tells us something is wet, considering we don’t have a receptor for wetness in our skin as we do, for example, for temperature and pain. “You can play with the brain,” said Davide. “Wetness is one of the most common sensations we experience, so people don’t question it. You can trick your brain to feel wet when something is not wet, or trick it to feel dry when in fact something is wet. 20
“If you are sitting on a metal chair with bare skin, you might jump up feeling wet when really it’s just the cold of the metal that cools the skin very quickly. Or, if you wear a latex glove and put your hand into water and take it out again, you will probably feel wet on your hand even though there is no moisture in contact with your skin.” Davide’s background is in thermal physiology and temperature regulation, and understanding some of the basic mechanisms that allow us to regulate body temperature but also sense the external environment. This has led to ongoing research, which started about a decade ago, into how we detect changes in temperature and wetness. In 2017, Davide founded Thermosenselab, based within the Skin Health Research Group, which specialises in research into skin sensing.
“We have discovered that the body uses temperature and touch cues to make sense of wetness on the skin,” explained Davide. “We have developed a physiological model that predicts what physical cues induce a sensation of wetness, which manufacturers of products that deal with wetness are interested in applying to improve the design and comfort of their products.” Enterprise collaborations Davide’s research has sparked a series of enterprise collaborations with consumer goods manufacturer Procter & Gamble (P&G), as well as with major sports clothes manufacturers. An initial project with P&G developed new knowledge on the thermal, mechanical and visual inputs that drive skin wetness sensing. P&G used the results of this to inform the design of more comfortable nappies.
For further information, visit: www.thermosenselab.com
garments more breathable in certain areas, or warmer in areas that are prone to getting cold in cooler temperatures, for example.” Sweaty business A new project, due to start in 2022, will seek to understand the biophysical and perceptual mechanism of skin wetness sensitivity of the underarm, to inform the design of more comfortable antiperspirant deodorants manufactured by P&G. Davide said: “The idea is still to try to understand better the basic sensory mechanisms that allow us to detect wetness, this time in the underarm area. “Antiperspirant deodorants are designed to reduce the amount of sweat that you produce – they are used to protect against wetness and for comfort reasons. If we can understand how the sensations of wetness vary between men and women, or vary depending on age, or vary for women depending on the stages of the menstrual cycle, we can try to convey this knowledge to product design and optimisation.” The research team will recruit participants and use methods including quantitative sensory tasks, where specific stimuli are applied to
the skin that can be controlled in terms of temperature and wetness, then asking people to report what they feel. Another method will involve presenting participants with a variety of stimuli with different degrees of wetness on them, and asking if they find them to be wet. “Then we can determine the minimum amount of moisture they can detect,” explained Davide. “It allows us to assess the local sensitivity to a wet stimulus.” The team will also use the climatic chamber at the NIHR Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, where they can control air temperature and humidity to stimulate sweat production. Experiments here will determine how people sense sweat, to what degrees they sense it, and what the effect on comfort is of adding interventions such as antiperspirant. Anticipating the potential outcomes of this project, Davide said: “Based on the findings of this research, there might be implications for the chemicals that are used in products to moderate sweat production and sweat sensation. As a result of this research, perhaps we will see more user-centred products. Perhaps more age-specific or gender-specific deodorants. Or perhaps even products designed for different stages of the menstrual cycle.”
Body maps to show regional differences in thermal sensitivity to warm, neutral and cold wet stimuli in males and females pre- and post-exercise
“The aim of the project was to model the interaction of a finger as it slides along a wet nappy and understand what sensing cues people use to sense wetness,” said Davide. “Temperature or friction could change the sense of wetness, regardless of the amount of wetness in the nappy. You can trick the brain to feel wetness when there is no wetness, and vice versa.” He has also worked closely with sports clothes manufacturers to assess sports apparel design and comfort in specific populations, such as female athletes. “We have done lots of research into how you detect temperature across your body,” he said, “which is relevant to people producing sports clothing because they can use this knowledge to design garments that take into account the different sensitivities across the body. Making 21
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/free-online-learning.page
MOOCs – ‘Massive Online Open Courses’ – are massive in more ways than one. Massive in terms of participation. Massive in terms of inclusivity. Massive in terms of success. And massive by name. At Southampton, we’re setting the bar high for MOOC success – and reaping the rewards along the way.
ALL INCLUSIVE MOOCs are all about knowledge sharing – but on a massive scale. Hundreds of thousands of people all around the world have taken part in MOOCs delivered by teams from Southampton – on subjects from all five Faculties – since the first course in 2012. MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. There is no barrier to who can take part, they are open to anyone, and they are delivered online. The University’s MOOCs are short, focused courses that last between two and eight weeks, with about four hours of learning each week. Kate Borthwick is Director of Open Online Courses within the University’s Digital Learning team. She said: “There is no cost and no prior knowledge requirement to take part in a MOOC. Many of them are aimed at a particular audience, but there
is no prerequisite for joining. So, when you are designing such a course, you need to assume you may get a very large number of participants. You might get one, or you might get 100,000 – there is no limit. Also, as the course is open to anyone, you have to think very carefully about the tone and you cannot assume prior knowledge or prior level of education. You are creating a wonderfully inclusive course.” The University of Southampton is one of the founding partners of FutureLearn, which set up a MOOC platform in 2013. “With FutureLearn, we shared a vision of social learning and peer learning,” explained Kate. “The aim with any MOOC is to start a dialogue with the learners and encourage them to interact with it. The courses are very learner-centred – the content is open and the learner is in control of how, and with what, they engage.”
Collaborative creativity Creating a MOOC is a very collaborative process, as recognised earlier this year when the University’s MOOC Programme Team won the Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE). Kate said: “To create a MOOC, an academic and other contributors will collaborate with a member of the Digital Learning team to create a course plan and content. Other staff will be engaged along the way, such as the Media team, the Library, a legal advisor and staff in Marketing. And the MOOC Programme team collaborates with FutureLearn to create the course.” Collaboration with external partners is also key, and the University was one of the first FutureLearn partners to work with external partners. The MOOC Programme team has worked with the British Council (on Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching); World Commerce and Contracting, and the Civil Service (on Contract Management); Jane Austen House Museum and Chawton House (on Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity); and the Royal Armouries (on Agincourt 1415: Myth and Reality). “The final area of collaboration is with students, who are involved in MOOC creation and development opportunities,” added Kate. “Postgraduate students often contribute core content arising from their research and are also involved in facilitating courses. To date, more than 80 postgraduate students have been involved.”
Beyond the MOOC The University is achieving success beyond knowledge exchange and education via MOOCs. “MOOCs support lots of activities that are important to us as a University,” said Kate. “They engage the public with our research, and they showcase our research. We also know that about 1,600 past and present students have completed a MOOC prior to joining the University, so there is a promotional aspect to them too.” MOOCs have also led to opportunities for partnerships and collaboration. The biggest MOOC to date – Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching, which has received 260,000 enrolments since it launched in 2014 – is delivered in collaboration with the British Council. This course, and English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics, have led to further opportunities for partnership working and, in some cases, project funding. As well as developing and reinventing existing MOOCs, new courses are frequently launched. The most recent is Digital Tools for Efficient Clinical Trials, developed in collaboration with the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) to share the CTU’s recent research into effective digital tools to recruit participants for trials. MOOCs that are currently in production include Autonomous Shipping, Interfaith Understandings: The meeting of Jewish and non-Jewish worlds, and a MOOC related to the Breccia project, a project focused on strengthening the research capacity in subSaharan African countries to lead to policy and practice change to improve food and water security.
OUR MOOCS IN NUMBERS
21 MOOCs have been created between 2013 and 2021
There have been 903,000 enrolments since 2013
Our MOOCs have reached 233 countries
120 academic staff across all five Faculties have been involved in creating MOOCs
28 per cent of learners are teachers, reflecting the popularity of the three teacher education MOOCs: Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching, Teaching Languages in Primary Schools: Putting Research into Practice, and English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/free-online-learning.page
1 Dr Gillian Dow interviewing Professor Nicky Marsh at Chawton House for the Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity MOOC
2 PGR student Dan Spencer firing an Agincourtera cannon for the cameras at Fort Nelson, for Agincourt 1415: Myth and Reality 3 Dr Gillian Dow interviewing Mary Guyatt (the former curator) at the Jane Austen House Museum for the Jane Austen: Myth, Reality and Global Celebrity 4 The MOOC Programme Team filming the English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics with Dr Robert Baird
5 Dr Jon Copley filming the Exploring Our Ocean MOOC
MOOC spotlight: English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics One of the University’s longest-running MOOCs is English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics. It has run 13 times since 2017, with about 55,000 participants to date. The course is designed to support educators in higher education who are delivering modules in English when this is not the first language of students, lecturers or the institution. Dr Robert Baird and Mary Page, Senior Teaching Fellows in the Academic Centre for International Students, lead the course. Outlining some of the benefits of the MOOC – besides knowledge sharing – Robert said: “We are very fortunate to run this MOOC. We receive direct insights into a range of Englishmedium education contexts, and get a very broad understanding of the people working in the area – their challenges, strategies, and ideas. This gives us far greater awareness and nuanced understanding when engaging with this field as speakers, teacher educators, and course designers. “It’s also fascinating to see how internationalisation in higher education works in similar and sometimes different ways in different settings, and how different people respond to the growing role of English in their professional lives. “We have also collaborated with many people beyond the MOOC, and engaged with important conversations and initiatives that we would not have had the opportunity to be part of without it.”
97.6 per cent of particpants reported that they had gained new knowledge from the English as a Medium of Instruction for Academics MOOC The course has also been successful at generating related enterprise opportunities. For example, it was the core of a successful bid to the British Council to train academics from across the Philippines in English as a medium of instruction. It is also central to a similar British Council project to explore internationalisation with a Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) partner, the Universidad Federale de Minas Gerais, in Brazil. Participants were surveyed in 2018 and, of 613 respondents, 97.6 per cent reported that they had gained new knowledge, and 71.3 per cent had begun to put it into action. A wide range of people participate in the MOOC. Robert outlined: “There is a vast range, from people who see an achievement in writing a sentence due to a lack of familiarity with, or confidence in, using English, to firstlanguage speakers who have concerns about managing intercultural and inclusive learning. The challenge is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for such a range of educators with such a range of needs, but we have created a network that has brought people together, and many positive outcomes have grown from that. For example, there is a Facebook group that keeps just under 2,000 MOOC alumnae connected.”
MOOC spotlight: Exploring Our Ocean The Exploring Our Ocean MOOC looks at how deep seas are explored, how ocean circulation and the chemistry of seawater sustain life on Earth, the diversity of habitats and lifeforms in the ocean, and how we are all involved in its future. The course was originally designed by Dr Jon Copley, Associate Professor in Ocean Exploration and Public Engagement, to engage the general public with research at Southampton. Since 2014, the MOOC has run 19 times – coinciding with Open Days for applicants to degree programmes in Ocean and Earth Science – with almost 60,000 people from 180 countries enrolling. Jon said: “By engaging people with our research through the MOOC, we have raised awareness of ocean issues and changed people’s perceptions of how our lives affect the ocean, directly generating evidence of impact from our research for a REF2021 Impact Case Study. “The MOOC showcases our research-led teaching and our links with international partners, and feedback shows that it has been useful in helping applicants to choose Southampton for degree programmes in marine biology and oceanography, and offering an introduction to the subject for students in their transition to university. “PhD students act as facilitators, answering questions from learners and sharing insights from their own research, so the MOOC provides an opportunity for our early career researchers to develop their public engagement skills.”
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/business-school
NEW ERA OF ENTERPRISE A new era is dawning in the Southampton Business School, one in which enterprise is at the heart. Re:action sat down with some of the Business School team, who explained the vision for the University’s thriving business hub. “Enterprise, and the many guises that it comes in, is increasingly important across the University as a whole. Within the Business School we have much expertise and knowledge that we want our colleagues to utilise,” explained Toby King, new Enterprise Director in the Business School. “Southampton Business School is currently an untapped resource for much of the wider University and business communities, both locally and nationally. “This year we have worked hard to recruit a raft of new Enterprise Fellows to accompany the wealth of expertise already in the Business School, and we have all worked together to create a five-year strategy to take our enterprise activity to the next level. We are starting from a good base; we know we are internationally recognised and we undertake research that leads to real-world business impact but we can do more.” Toby’s enthusiasm and experience comes from a career at technology start-ups in the UK and Silicon Valley. Having started in
research and development, he has held the positions of Chief Technology Officer, Chief Operating Officer and CEO, so he knows what makes good business.
Blockchain as a way of showcasing the expertise we have within the Business School and highlighting the scope for collaboration with industry partners.”
He continued: “The new enterprise strategy for the Business School has a few key focuses. A big one of these is our executive education and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. For example, as part of our Executive Learning Partnership, we offer a wealth of courses in some very key and timely subject areas, and these have been refreshed and updated to offer even more value. Individuals from within the University and those outside in the UK and abroad can access these remote courses which offer sharing of best practice, in addition to bespoke modules and development opportunities for collaborative research.
Local community Gillian Saieva, Director of Executive Education in the Business School, is new to the team. She has joined the University with a wealth of both industry and higher education management knowledge and experience. Having developed executive education as national industry programmes for the Retail and Asset Management sector and leadership and management programmes in conjunction with levy funded routes, she has further delivered small business leadership programmes via Government-funded routes.
“We will also be introducing a new topical seminar series covering areas such as the post-COVID workplace and wellbeing; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and unconscious bias; and Cryptocurrency and
Gillian is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, board member of the Certified Management and Business Educator Award, and board member of the Chartered Management Institute South East Region. Having worked in global HR management before coming into Higher Education, she 27
“ In five years’ time, I want Southampton Business School to be recognised, nationally and internationally, as a beacon for collaborative enterprise which enhances the impact of our research and teaching, improves our sustainability and reputation, and generates significant revenue.” Toby King Director of Enterprise, Southampton Business School
is passionate about how people can be developed by education to support effective organisational growth. Gillian said: “From the new five-year strategy, I have come on board to drive forward the elements relating to our offering to the local and regional business community and to increase our engagement with small and medium size businesses, particularly as these are the organisations that make up 90 per cent of the UK economy. We can add value to the UK economy given the challenges from Brexit and the pandemic.
“By playing a pivotal role in the region we can support businesses with access to top talent from our student body and expertise from our staff in helping solve some of the real pain points that they are experiencing out there.” The Business School is making this happen through collaborations. It is driving forward relationships with civic partners such as Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Southampton City Council and Hampshire County Council, Business South and New Forest Business Partnership so that Business School members are involved in the conversation.
“Our research-led curriculum embeds enterprise within it, including opportunities for industry professionals and alumni to engage with the students to share experiential learning and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders,” said Gillian. “These collaborative relationships support students working on live briefs from industry and engaging in placements and internships to aid their future employability. By doing so, it allows organisations to build a talent pipeline with the Business School, which is critical for organisations moving forwards.” Ecosystem approach The Business School prides itself on providing the opportunity to build the knowledge and skills of students to be successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, with the strong research-led education approach provided. Additionally, with a focus on sustainability, preparing students for industry in this way and enabling them to work with organisations from the offset means those companies and their future employees are properly equipped to go from start-up to scale-up to delivering future success, it’s an ideal ecosystem. The most recent Business South Annual Conference saw the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mark Smith, join a panel discussion about future challenges and opportunities for the Central South following Brexit and the pandemic. Professor Smith was keen to put the spotlight on the numerous ways in which the University and the Business School can play a lead role in the region’s recovery into 2022 and beyond. Toby added: “The Business School has had an exciting and progressive year. We are looking forward to driving forward with our strategy to evolve even more next year, particularly increasing our engagement within the University and beyond.”
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/business-school
SPINNING OUT FROM THE BUSINESS SCHOOL Southampton Business School MBA student Nic Corey, and Dr Phil Wu, a Postdoctorate Research Fellow in Engineering, recently spun out their innovative company from the University. Absolar Solutions Ltd helps companies to reduce their carbon footprint. The company’s state-of-the-art software can be used by businesses to assess the current carbon output of their buildings. Absolar also offers practical soutions to minimise businesses’ impact and offers practical solutions to minimise their impact on the environment and slash costs. Since its launch, Absolar has received a wide range of support including from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council, and its original home – the Sustainable Energy Research Group at the University. This includes seed funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering and a group of investors who share the same vision and determination to contribute to a more sustainable world. The business also recently received two awards at the Test Valley Business Awards – New Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year. Absolar now plans to start selling its packages to local authorities and other organisations that own estates where energy savings can be achieved.
ECO HAIR AND BEAUTY The UK’s £6.2 billion hairdressing industry has a huge environmental impact, through its use of water, energy and chemicals. Denise Baden, Professor of Sustainable Business in the Southampton Business School, has been working with hairdressers over the last eight years investigating how they can reduce their environmental impact and inspire their customers to save energy, water and use fewer chemicals at home. Denises’s Eco Hair and Beauty project to encourage hairdressers to embrace sustainability won the £10,000 Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Celebrating Impact Prize 2018 for Outstanding Impact in Business and Enterprise. In 2017, Denise launched an online sustainable salon certification and virtual salon training
programme for salons and stylists. So far more than 100 salons and 2,000 stylists have gained this certificate, which is endorsed by key industry bodies such as the Hairdressing Council, the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority and the Vocational Training Charitable Trust. “Hairdressers are in a unique position to combat climate change,” said Denise. “As they chat to their clients while styling their hair, they have an ideal opportunity to highlight practical ways that individuals could adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.” Denise is now working with Green Salon Collective to explore the use of posting eco-tips on mirrors to prompt conversations between stylists and clients about sustainable hair care practices.
“ Hairdressers are in a unique position to combat climate change. As they chat to their clients while styling their hair, they have an ideal opportunity to highlight practical ways that individuals could adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.” Denise Baden Professor of Sustainable Business, Southampton Business School
University of Southampton spin-out ViridiCO2 is revolutionising the sustainability of chemical manufacturing processes by deriving products from carbon dioxide to close the carbon loop.
CAPTURING CARBON “ ViridiCO2 enables manufacturers to use CO₂ as a direct replacement for petrochemicals. Our catalyst takes carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and turns it into polymers.” Dr Daniel Stewart Founder of ViridiCO2
The UN’s Climate Change Conference, COP26, brought into sharp focus yet again the desperate need for increased action on climate change and reducing carbon emissions. It is time for action and Dr Daniel Stewart, founder of ViridiCO2, is already on the case. “Our new technology is able to directly replace petrochemicals, these are chemicals derived from fossil fuels used in the chemical manufacturing process, with repurposed CO₂,” explained Daniel. “By using waste CO₂ in this way, it not only reduces emissions and fossil fuel reliance, it also serves as a CO₂ utilisation strategy, rather than just a storage solution.” Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is a way to prevent CO₂ reaching the atmosphere by either storing it safely or using it to create useful products. Typically, CCUS involves the removal of CO₂ from the exhaust gases of industrial facilities, such as those producing chemicals. The CO₂ can then be compressed and transported for storage in geological formations underground, or it can be used as a raw material which can then be utilised to produce products. Current methods of turning
CO₂ into a raw material require significant energy and so aren’t widely utilised. To address this, ViridiCO2 has developed a new technology to make this process more energy efficient. Daniel said: “ViridiCO2 enables manufacturers to use CO₂ as a direct replacement for petrochemicals. Our catalyst takes carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and turns it into polymers. These polymers can be used in furniture, cars and clothing. This means consumers will be able to buy products which are actually made from waste CO₂, saving the planet whilst buying the products they need.” Start up support ViridiCO2 has gone from vision to spin-out at fast speed. Daniel said: “The speed with which the company has formed and grown has been phenomenal and that is due in no small part to all the support we’ve had from so many departments and programmes across the University. During my PhD at Southampton, I focused on the design and manipulation of catalysts for chemical processes to make them more sustainable. Early on, I hit upon something which was incredibly efficient at transforming CO₂ and we developed it for the
For further information, visit: www.viridico2.co.uk
following three years. Once I completed the PhD, we successfully won an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award which supported the commercialisation aspects of the technology.” With this funding, the team was successful in applying to the SETsquared ICURe programme. Daniel explained: “We went into ICURe not knowing who or what we were as a company – we were just researchers with some cool tech. We had no idea how to apply it. Coming out of ICURe we had a full business model, the validation of a huge network of people who wanted our product and Innovate UK ICURe Follow On Funding. “It was real a challenge taking part in ICURe during 2020 due to the lockdowns and everything moving online,” explained Daniel. “But I came to realise that there was real opportunity there, to go further and speak to more people than I ever would have been
able to in person. In total, I spoke to 97 connections across the world – there were days where I would do six or seven hour-long calls in a day and dealing with different time zones was occasionally a challenge. But it gave us so much information and feedback that I can honestly say it was worth every minute.” Storage solution In the UK, the Government has already spent £168 million trying to develop CO₂ storage solutions. Daniel and his team have seized on this in emphasising the huge advantages ViridiCO2 technology provides in this area. He said: “What we’re doing with ViridiCO2 will not only save manufacturers millions of pounds, it will also be a much more environmentally friendly solution. This was our selling point when talking to investors, which we did with great support from the start-up accelerator, Future Worlds, who have helped us secure all our equity investment.
“We are now using that investment to scale up the technology and work with our early adopter customers who want to turn CO₂ into high value chemicals. Chemical manufacturers are a key customer for us. The chemical industry is one of the largest emitters of CO₂ in the world and our product is poised to utilise the waste CO₂ that they generate and repurpose it back into their own products, so it produces a circular economy with no need for CO₂ storage.” ViridiCO2 is currently a team of six with plans to grow rapidly to carry on achieving something great for the environment. Daniel concluded: “If we don’t solve the issue of CO₂ emissions and greenhouse emissions, we’re in real danger of facing a climate catastrophe that will affect every single person on the planet. We need to take action and develop these technologies now.”
Dr Daniel Stewart
AN ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET If ever a blueprint was needed for entrepreneurial spirit, look no further than the Zepler Institute (ZI). A researchintensive School within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, the ZI houses one of Europe’s premier clean room facilities accommodating a unique range of photonics and fabrication capabilities, while also being home to the world-leading Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). The ZI has a rich history entrenched in industry collaboration and enterprising pursuits. 32
For further information, visit: www.zepler.soton.ac.uk
Best defined simply as the science of light, photonics has delivered transformational technologies that fundamentally underpin countless aspects of everyday life. The emergence of this bold, buoyant cutting-edge industry at the University of Southampton has been vital to driving a thriving and enterprising photonics cluster in and around the city. Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the ZI, explained: “We formed the ORC in 1989 as a new research institute by coalescing two optics groups, one from Physics and Astronomy and the other from Electronics and Computer Science. The ORC is now part of the Zepler Institute, so we’ve been collaborating with industry and driving forward these new technologies for over 30 years, although the original constituent groups can trace their history back to the mid-’70s. “When it comes to the research and enterprise activity we undertake, I believe our success comes from continuously asking: ‘What does industry actually want from the research community? How can we give them a route into the future?’.” The ZI has delivered technologies such as fibre optics which underpin the internet, fibre lasers used in eye surgery and green manufacturing and 5D data storage in silica glass. It is also pioneering next-generation technologies such as environmental sensing, silicon photonics and new metamaterials. All of these fulfil a need from industry and that’s the key. A bright future for a hidden technology Despite the photonics research and business community providing a foundation for so much we use in everyday life, the general public is mostly unfamiliar with the term ‘photonics’ and just how important it is to the UK’s economy. It delivers £14.5 billion to the economy annually and is growing by five to 12 per cent every year. The industry employs 76,900 people in the UK and it exports an impressive 75 per cent of its manufacturing output.
The ZI and ORC work in partnership with industry on a raft of highly successful enterprising initiatives, that are delivering vital real-world impact in the world around us. Some examples are below.
Brambilla, Hub Manager and Deputy Director, said: “Our outstanding fabrication facilities make us a perfect partner for companies testing out novel approaches and seeking new ways of making speciality optical fibres, silicon photonics devices or other innovative optical components and sensors.
Silicon photonics: This technology can move huge data volumes over short distances very quickly using very little power – perfect for data centres or, potentially, for equipping robot vehicles to monitor ocean emissions or enabling driverless vehicles to ‘see’ using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). Professor Graham Reed leads the Silicon Photonics Group, set up in 1989 at the University of Surrey before its transfer to the ORC in 2012. “I was particularly attracted by Southampton’s unique fabrication facilities,” he explained. “They’re vital to our EPSRC-funded work, which has secured this technology’s future in the UK.” The group recently regained a world record for data transmission speed via a silicon Mach-Zehnder modulator, and together with San Francisco-based company Pointcloud Inc has demonstrated the world’s bestperforming optical-radar chip. Graham also leads a Prosperity Partnership linking the University with US-based Rockley Photonics to pioneer third-generation silicon photonics, and Cornerstone, a rapid silicon photonics prototyping foundry run in the ZI. Cornerstone provides industry and academia with access to extremely flexible fabrication prototyping that is difficult to find in commercial fabrication facilities. Optical fibres: Fibre optic cable solutions spin-out, Lumenisity Limited, established from the ZI in 2017, has recently closed a major funding round from a consortium of investors to further commercialise world-leading research and build a new manufacturing and testing facility. Long recognised as the next stage of advancement in fibre optic cable technology, hollow-core fibres guide light in an air-
£14.5bn Photonics UK industry output
“Ultimately, photonics is an enabling technology that produces components within larger systems. Companies are constantly striving to make their products faster, smaller and more sustainable, and that’s where the Future Photonics Hub is making a difference. Organisations with an appetite for innovation and leadership, come to us to test out ideas, try new things and eventually, to redefine what is possible.”
Professor Sir David Payne, Director of the Zepler Institute
filled core formed by a configuration of microscopic capillaries. This offers many advantages over conventional fibres which have a solid glass core. Lumenisity maintains a strong collaboration with experts at the ZI. Professor David Richardson, Deputy Director of the ORC, said: “The ORC has contributed significantly to the remarkable growth of the photonics industry over many years and fosters a strong culture of innovation. The Lumenisity team is accelerating the development of groundbreaking fibre optic technology and provide a valuable stimulus to the local economy.” Future Photonics Hub: Led by the ORC in partnership with the University of Sheffield, this major seven-year initiative has driven up the efficiency of photonics manufacturing processes. Ten million pounds in core funding from EPSRC underpins an initiative focused on providing national leadership in this pivotal forward-thinking field. Professor Gilberto
People employed in UK photonics
Gross value added to economy
Patent power The ZI is very aware of the pitfalls around intellectual property, which are a huge consideration and a vital asset for research initiatives and spin-outs. As such, it established a Patent Panel chaired by Professor Sir David. The panel operates in partnership with the University’s Research and Innovation Services to examine the ideas that emerge from ZI research. Ideas are evaluated for patentability, prior art, novelty and in particular exploitation potential. Professor Sir David said: “There is no point in spending large amounts of money on patents if they cannot be exploited. The experience of the panel and rigour of the process is such that we are able to reach quite a sophisticated level of decision making.” Cleaning up Much of the research undertaken at the ZI is done in its state-of-the-art facilities consisting of numerous cleanrooms and specialist laboratories. In addition to the research endeavour, the ZI facilities are also made accessible to external industry partners in support of their commercial and research and development
Gross value added per Like for like growth over employee to the economy 2 years (5.8% CAGR)
For further information, visit: www.zepler.soton.ac.uk
needs. This offering of ZI facilities to external partners is an enterprising win-win for the University and partners. For the companies it provides access to key facilities without requiring direct investment into high value capital, reducing risk for their product development and capital investment. For the ZI, this engagement is a source of additional revenue and enables increased impact using the facilities. Building on a solid set of facilities access agreements already in place, a new framework has been implemented this year which is expected to draw in an estimated £350,000 of additional revenue in 2021 to 2022. Spin-outs accelerate impact Spinning out successful companies is a clear indicator of enterprise success and the ZI excels in this area. Over the years from 1980, the ORC has spun out 11 companies. Two of the most recent are: Highfield Diagnostics, or HDx, is a new point-of-care diagnostics technology spin-out based on EPSRC-funded research that will transform lateral flow testing for COVID-19 and other illnesses and conditions. It has enabled a highly sensitive test for COVID-19 that could make diagnosis far simpler and more effective than before. Founding team member Professor Robert Eason explained: “HDx laser techniques will transform lateral flow testing. In current lateral flow tests, the sample to be tested flows along the test strip with a speed that is determined by the properties of the materials used. If we modify this speed then we can increase the interaction. A stronger interaction means a deeper colour on the test line which allows detection of the virus in lower concentrations in the sample, hence earlier in the infection cycle.” Creating such testing was driven by a need to improve global point-of-care diagnostics for billions across the world for whom routine diagnostics are beyond reach. “Initially, we asked ourselves ‘what if there was a cost-effective, rapid, sensitive, user-friendly solution that allowed the global population to access point-of-care diagnostic tests for a range of diseases including COVID-19?’,” explained Professor Eason. “The multiplexed version of our test has more than one channel inside the flow strip,
A Zepler Institute cleanroom
in effect a miniature four-lane highway where fluids can flow independently to perform different tests, rather than a single-track road where only one test result is possible. Detection of more than one disease or condition at a time from a single sample is a very effective diagnostic solution.” As a University of Southampton spin-out company, the next steps are to transition swiftly from research proof-of-principle to full commercial readiness. As HDx looks ahead, it plans to partner with global diagnostics companies to explore and innovate new applications of its core technology. It will also continue its collaboration with the University of Southampton’s Faculty of Medicine to develop novel and proprietary point-of-care diagnostic solutions. SPI Lasers is one of the world’s leading fibre laser companies and is a longstanding Southampton spin-out celebrating 20 years of innovation. Founded in 2000, the company now sells products in more than 150 countries worldwide, employs more than 400 people and has an annual turnover of around £70 million. In 2008, SPI Lasers was acquired by German machine tool and disc laser specialist TRUMPF GmbH for £27.8 million. This has provided the company with extra financial stability and access to much wider market intelligence.
“Our success in this technology-intensive industry has derived from our ability to take the ORC’s pioneering research, through product design and development, to full commercialisation. The strong connection we have with the University of Southampton, and in particular the ORC, was pivotal to our early success,” explained Professor Michalis Zervas, a co-founder of SPI Lasers. “Other companies starting out at the same time as us didn’t survive, as they didn’t have access to the expertise which we did. Being able to tap into the University’s vast expertise, as and when we require it, has been absolutely crucial in enabling us to not only survive, but to thrive.” SPI Lasers still has a strong relationship with the ORC, not only through the Advanced Laser Laboratory, but also through the placements it offers and the PhD studentships it provides. SPI Lasers frequently supports researchers with commercial off-the-shelf devices to facilitate their work, and also supports the ORC and other University research groups when they apply for funding from various research councils.
For more information about the Zepler Institute please contact the Relationship and Research PR Officer, Michelle Mitchell at M.G.Mitchell@soton.ac.uk
Research award highlights
RESEARCH AWARD HIGHLIGHTS FACULTY OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES Dr Louise Palmour; School of Humanities Assessing Academic Oral Presentations in English Medium Education: Navigating the Linguistic and Social Justice Implications of Decision Making ESRC; £90,789 over 12 months
Dr Katherine Bradbury; School of Psychology Happier Feet UK Research and Innovation; £400,000 over 24 months
FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND LIFE SCIENCES
Prof Alison Richardson; School of Health Sciences EXPERTS II – How are patient and caregiver participation in health and social care shaped by experienced burden of treatment and social inequalities? A qualitative synthesis National Institute of Health Research; £17,488 over 24 months
Prof Duncan Purdie; School of Ocean and Earth Science Autonomous underwater monitoring of kelp-farm biomass, growth, health and biofouling using optical sensors The Research Council of Norway; £2,473 over 48 months
Prof Gavin Foster; School of Ocean and Earth Science Boron isotopes in giant clams: A new tool for reconstructing symbiont health through time Royal Society; £3,000
Prof Jonathan Bull; School of Ocean and Earth Science Using acoustic signatures to determine gas pathways through marine sediment National Oceanography Centre; £130,417 over 9 months
Prof Anne-Sophie Darlington; School of Health Sciences Phase 2 and 3 development of an Adolescent and Young Adult module for 14–39 year olds & Validation of the EORTC QLQ-C30 with 12-17 year olds with cancer European Org for Research & Treatment of Cancer; £37,124 over 6 months
Prof Chris Hauton; School of Ocean and Earth Science Diversification of potential crops species in brackishwater aquaculture, adaptation for climate resilience (NERC COP26 call) Natural Environment Research Council; £72,280 over 6 months Prof Robert Marsh; School of Ocean and Earth Science Monitoring a large Sargassum bloom subject to a major volcanic eruption (MONISARG) Natural Environment Research Council; £51,933 over 6 months Prof Robert Marsh; School of Ocean and Earth Science Consequences of Accelerating Arctic Warming for European Climate and Extreme Weather (ArctiCONNECT) Natural Environment Research Council; £252,922 over 36 months Prof Damon Teagle; School of Ocean and Earth Science CO2 Ports to Pipelines (CO2P2P) Project 50, Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre (IDRIC) UKRI-ISCF-EPSRC; £218,537 over 24 months Prof Damon Teagle; School of Ocean and Earth Science NSFGEO-NERC: Data Mining the Deep: Combining Geochemistry and Imaging Spectroscopy to Quantify Deep Hydrothermal Circulation at Mid-Ocean Ridges NERC via NSFGEO-NERC agreement; £166,138 over 36 months Dr Samantha Cockings and Prof David Martin; School of Geography & Environmental Science Development of street-based reporting zones for reporting and analysis Ordnance Survey; £40,190 over 10 months Prof Jadunandan Dash and Dr Booker Ogutu; School of Geography & Environmental Science SENTINELS4CARBON (SEN4GP) European Space Agency; £106,999 over 24 months Prof Christina Liossi; School of Psychology Development and Validation of a Paediatric Breakthrough Pain Assessment Tool GOSH Charity; £224,650 over 24 months Dr Ivan Haigh; School of Ocean and Earth Science Next-generation Forecasting of Hazards Offshore from River Deltas Natural Environment Research Council; £8,768 over 12 months Prof Rachael James; School of Ocean and Earth Science Greenhouse gas removal with UK agriculture via enhanced rock weathering BBSRC; £135,918 over 54 months Prof Martin Solan; School of Ocean and Earth Science Scientific partnership on the consequences of climate change in Arctic coastal ecosystems. Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, UK-Russia People to People Links programme, administered by the British Council Foreign & Commonwealth Office; £39, 950 over 4 months
Prof Anne-Sophie Darlington; School of Health Sciences Phase 1 to 3 of the update of the EORTC Gastric Module QLQ-STO22 European Org for Research & Treatment of Cancer; £22,356 over 6 months Prof Peter Griffiths; School of Health Sciences Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill-mix (extension) The Health Research Board (Ireland); £28,846 over 36 months Prof Andrew Tatem; School of Geography & Environmental Science Generalizable human mobility models to describe and forecast the spatial spread of pathogens National Institutes of Health – USA; £208,586 over 60 months Prof Andrew Tatem; School of Geography & Environmental Science COVID-19: GRID3 Microplanning Country Support Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; £228,759 over 12 months Prof Andrew Tatem; School of Geography & Environmental Science Mapping zero-dose populations: conflict, remote rural, urban poor (Phase II) GAVI; £229,700 over 12 months Prof Andrew Tatem; School of Geography & Environmental Science Geospatial Population Estimation in Papua New Guinea UNFPA; £332,501 over 12 months Prof Juerg Matter; Geoengineering and Carbon Management, School of Ocean and Earth Science PCO2Min: Peridotite CO2 Mineralization ClimateWorks Foundation; £96,151 over 12 months Dr Catherine Murphy; School of Health Sciences Multicentre trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of novel urinary catheter designs in preventing catheter-associated urinary tract infection compared with the traditional Foley design for adults requiring long-term urethral catheterisation (CaDET) National Institute of Health Research; £849,455 over 39 months Dr Sien Van Der Plank; School of Geography & Environmental Science Fostering Household Motivation and Capacity for Transformational Adaptation to Coastal Flooding ESRC; £90,829 over 12 months Dr James Gavin; School of Health Sciences The impact of occupational therapy on the self-management of rheumatoid arthritis: a mixed methods systematic review Royal College of Occupational Therapists; £9,400 over 12 months Dr Alessandro Silvano; School of Ocean and Earth Science Control of Earth’s climate(s) by the polar Southern Ocean Natural Environment Research Council; £529,044 over 60 months
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/research
Dr Gordon Inglis and Prof Gavin Foster; School of Ocean and Earth Science Solving the Oligocene icehouse conundrum (TONIC) Natural Environment Research Council; £460,227 over 60 months Dr Franklin Luzia De Nobrega; School of Biological Sciences Investigating the role of mucus-interacting bacteriophages in inflammatory bowel disease BOWEL RESEARCH UK Small Project Grant; £48,950 over 24 months Dr Franklin Luzia De Nobrega; School of Biological Sciences Using phages to give new life to old antibiotics against superbugs Wessex Medical Research Innovation Award; £20,000 over 24 months Dr Nicole Prior; School of Biological Sciences Chemically defined biomimetic hydrogels to support human liver and pancreas organoids for the development of clinical therapies Wessex Medical Research Innovation Grant; £20,000 over 24 months
Prof Dominic Hudson; School of Engineering Zero Carbon base load power for large ships Innovate UK; £176,083 over 7 months Dr Gary Wills; School of Electronics and Computer Science User Trust in Mobility-as-a-Service IoT Ecosystem (UMIS) UK Research and Innovation; £232,337 over 15 months Prof Mike Wald; School of Electronics and Computer Science DeepPrism Innovate UK; £96,057 over 12 months Prof Bruno Linclau; School of Chemistry Expanding Capability and Capacity in High-Throughput Multinuclear NMR Spectroscopy EPSRC; £476,316 over 60 months
FACULTY OF ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Dr James Gates and Prof Corin Gawith; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics Blue Laser Integration with Networked Quantum-Memories (BLINQ) Innovate UK; £172,650 over 12 months
Prof Philip Nelson; School of Engineering UK Acoustics Network plus EPSRC; £21,745 over 48 months
Prof Malcolm Levitt; School of Chemistry NMR over 9 orders of magnitude in magnetic field EPSRC; £930,844 over 42 months
Prof Dame Wendy Hall; School of Electronics and Computer Science The PETRAS Data Sharing Foundation: Building a Trustworthy Data Sharing Ecology for IoT Data Assets (PETRAS-DSF) EPSRC; £112,425 over 12 months
Prof Kees De Groot; School of Electronics and Computer Science Electrodeposited 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenides on graphene: a novel route towards scalable flexible electronics EPSRC; £1,023,916 over 30 months
Prof Jeremy Frey; School of Chemistry Network plus-Future blood testing – Healthcare technologies new challenges EPSRC; £117,847 over 36 months Prof Lajos Hanzo; School of Electronics and Computer Science UKRI-India Future networks initiative EPSRC; £39,894 over 24 months Prof Stephen Turnock; School of Engineering Clean Maritime demonstrator vessel UK Research and Innovation; £317,207 over 7 months Prof Neil White; School of Electronics and Computer Science Continuous respiration monitoring using a novel, wearable capaciflector sensor for early detection of distress, enabling quicker intervention for improved patient outcomes National Institute of Health Research; £478,675 over 36 months Prof Peter Kazansky; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics H2020 – Chiral Metamaterials for THz Polarisation Control – CHARTIST – MSCA RISE European Commission; £88,465 over 48 months Prof William Powrie; School of Engineering UKCRIC 12 months extension EPSRC; £187,342 over 12 months Prof Thomas Cherrett; Transportation Research Group, School of Engineering Future Transport Zones Project (Theme 2 – Freight) – Macro and Micro Consolidation Project Department for Transport (DTLR); £875,212 over 36 months Prof Thomas Cherrett; Transportation Research Group, School of Engineering Future Transport Zones Project (Theme 2 – Freight) – Drones Project Department for Transport (DTLR); £1,952,816 over 38 months Prof Thomas Cherrett; Transportation Research Group, School of Engineering Future Transport Zones Project (Theme 2 – Freight) – Drones – Project Lima (air space management) Department for Transport (DTLR); £585,143 over 24 months
Prof Ling Wang and Prof Robert Wood; nCATS, School of Engineering Cryogenic rocket turbopump bearing and seal development SPRINT UKRI; £49,533 over 6 months Dr Richard Wills; School of Engineering Hybrid powered unmanned surface vehicle Innovate UK; £114,739 over 7 months Prof Stefano Moretti; School of Physics and Astronomy Investigating the Higgs-Dark Matter Connection Royal Society; £12,000 over 24 months Institutional award, School of Engineering Institutional Sponsorship-International Partnerships-University of Southampton EPSRC; £47,791 over 7 months Dr Zhengtong Xie; School of Engineering Portable Clean Room SPRINT through Research England; £49,268 over 9 months Dr Richard Watson; School of Electronics and Computer Science The scaling-up of purpose in evolution (evo-ego): Connectionist approaches to the evolutionary transitions in individuality John Templeton Foundation; £339,146 over 31 months Prof Sarvapali (Gopal) Ramchurn; School of Electronics and Computer Science AUTONOMY: Smart Solutions Towards Cellular-Connected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles System EPSRC; £351,585 over 36 months Prof Chris-Kriton Skylaris; School of Chemistry New frontiers at the intersection of chemical reactions and separations Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); £102,793 over 24 months Dr Benjamin Mills; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics PhototheRapy Enabled Via Artificially-Intelligent Lasers (PREVAIL) National Institute of Health Research; £149,709 over 12 months Dr Adam Sobey; School of Engineering Protecting Space Assets – Learning Integrity through AI Cyber Defence Research England -SPRINT programme; £48,181 over 6 months Dr Sebastian Stein; School of Electronics and Computer Science Turing AI Fellowship Supplement: Citizen-Centric AI Systems EPSRC; £37,179 over 6 months
Research award highlights
Ms Natalie Wheeler; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics Low loss hollow core-photonic crystal fibres for mid-IR (2.5-12 µm) applications (COVID-19 extension) Royal Society; £11,142 over 3 months Ms Natalie Wheeler; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics Controlling the Optical Properties of Hollow Core Fibres using Differential Refractive Index Royal Society; £359,934 over 36 months Prof David Thomson; Zepler Institute for Photonics and Nanoelectronics Photonics for future computing systems Royal Society; £359,812 over 36 months Dr Ben Anderson; School of Engineering Mapping the current and future Energy Landscape for a wider Hampshire Hampshire County Council; £16,061 over 6 months Prof Themistoklis Prodromakis; School of Electronics and Computer Science Astrid T55 Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL); £180,000 over 8 months Dr Min Kwan Kim; School of Engineering Rollable Non-thermal Plasma Microbubble Reactor for Degrading CBW Agents Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL); £120,433 over 10 months Dr Min Kwan Kim; School of Engineering Application to ESA Hospitals of the Future funding UK Space Agency; £5,000 over 1 month Dr Chaitanya Paruchuri; School of Engineering Aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of closely coupled rotors EPSRC; £1,253,131 over 48 months Dr Charles Ryan; School of Engineering Ionic Liquid Ion Sources: the Flexible Focused Ion Beam EPSRC; £465,508 over 36 months Dr Charles Ryan; School of Engineering SPRINT Project with startup SmallSpark Research England; £49,451 over 5 months Dr Charles Ryan; School of Engineering Testing of the Pulsar Fusion Hall Effect ion thruster Research England; £49,951 over 6 months Dr Mark Fletcher; School of Engineering Feeling the beat – Haptic enhancement of music perception in cochlear implant users William Demant Foundation; £177,023 over 32 months Dr Mahmoud Wagih; School of Electronics and Computer Science Radio Frequency-Enabled Multi-Source Energy Harvesting in Inaccessible Environments Royal Academy of Engineering UK Intelligence Community Fellowship; £199,497 over 24 months Dr Dimitra Georgiadou; School of Electronics and Computer Science Optogenetics-inspired photoelectric memories based on flexible nanogap electrodes UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship; £1,272,097 over 48 months
FACULTY OF MEDICINE Prof Ian Clarke; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Construction and characterisation of Chlamydia transposon knock-out libraries Wellcome Trust; £237,623 over 36 months Prof Paul Little; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education PPIE activities National Institute of Health Research; £25,000 over 60 months Prof Paul Little; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Supporting Targeting Of antibiotics in Primary careto combat AMR using decision aids (STOP AMR – decision aids) National Institute of Health Research; £3,670 over 6 months Prof Paul Little; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Phase IV Admin Support National Institute of Health Research; £244,999 over 60 months Prof Paul Little; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education GRoup Alexander lessons for Chronic musculoskeletal pain in Everyday practice (GRACE): preliminary development National Institute of Health Research; £8,435 over 12 months Emeritus Prof Hazel Inskip; Human Development and Health Cohort and LOngitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources grant – CLOSER ESRC; £7,044 over 12 months Prof Anthony Kendrick and Dr Catherine J. Woods; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Remote discussion of emotional symptoms in telephone versus face-to-face primary care consultations (REMOTION): A pilot study National Institute of Health Research; £32,032 over 12 months Prof Anthony Kendrick; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education PROMDEP National Institute of Health Research; £66,592 over 12 months Prof Chris Kipps; Neurology Cortical Disarray Measurement (CDM) in the early diagnosis of dementia National Institute of Health Research; £156,243 over 36 months Prof Hazel Everitt; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Amitriptyline for the prevention of post-herpetic neuralgia National Institute of Health Research; £255,634 over 40 months Prof Hazel Everitt; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Wellcome Trust clinical PhD fellowship Wellcome Trust; £345,209 over 60 months Prof Hazel Everitt; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education and Prof Felicity Bishop; Psychology Tip Study 2 National Institute of Health Research; £791,153 over 30 months Prof Karen Walker-Bone; Human Development and Health D-MAPP: Developing a digital intervention for distal upper limb pain National Institute of Health Research; £42,828 over 72 months
Dr Patrick M Ledingham; School of Physics and Astronomy A High-Performance Light-Matter Quantum Network UK Research and Innovation; £1,254,517 over 48 months
Prof Karen Walker-Bone; Human Development and Health Quantifying the impact of chronic pain on work (QUICK) MRC; £77,990 over 32 months
Dr Desmond Lim; School of Engineering Experimental investigation of eddy diffusion in indoor spaces Royal Academy of Engineering; £199,959 over 24 months
Prof James Nicoll; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Continued Brain Tumour Research Funding for BRAIN UK – 2021 Brain Tumour Research; £36,000 over 9 months Prof Rami Salib; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Repurposing Simvastatin to treat Intracellular and biofilm associated S.aureus in chronic rhinosinusitis Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh; £9,216 over 12 months
For further information, visit: www.southampton.ac.uk/research
Dr Simon Crabb; Cancer Sciences An Open Label Single Arm Phase II Study of Atezolizumab in patients with nonTCC of the bladder and urothelial tract Cancer Research UK; £819,022 over 52 months
Prof Gareth Griffiths; Cancer Sciences AGILE: Seamless Phase I/Iia Platform for the Rapid Evaluation of Candidates for COVID-19 treatment Wellcome Trust; £239,621 over 24 months
Dr Beth Stuart; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Topical anti-inflammatory treatments for eczema: a network meta-analysis National Institute of Health Research; £39,706 over 24 months
Prof Gareth Griffiths; Cancer Sciences AGILE: CST3b Nitazoxanide World Health Organization; £48,297 over 9 months
Dr Beth Stuart; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Individual Patient Data Meta-analysis for The Blood Cancer UK Vaccine Task Force Blood Cancer UK; £55,996 over 18 months Dr Beth Stuart; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Systematic review of transmission pathways for respiratory viral illness National Institute of Health Research; £47,094 over 18 months Prof Andrew Davies; Cancer Sciences CRUK CDD -Southampton Biomarker Hub LOA extension Cancer Research UK; £348,285 over 36 months Dr Simon Fraser; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education (led by Dr Rachel Johnson, Bristol University) People’s Experiences of Multimorbidity – The POEM study National Schools for Primary Care Research, National Institute of Health Research; £18,129 over 24 months
Dr Christopher Hanley; Cancer Sciences Investigating the role of fibroblast subpopulations in lung adenocarcinoma disease progression and response to treatment Rosetrees Trust Intermediate Project grant; £29,886 over 18 months Dr Nisreen Alwan; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education STIMULATE-ICP: Symptoms, Trajectory, Inequalities and Management: Understanding Long-COVID to Address and Transform Existing Integrated Care Pathways National Institute of Health Research; £184,239 over 24 months Prof Kathryn Ward; Human Development and Health Musculoskeletal functional ability in three diverse Sub-Saharan Africa Populations; assessing muscle strength & function to understand healthy ageing MRC; £818,196 over 48 months Dr Sara Waise; Cancer Sciences Characterising gene fusion transcripts in sarcoma Pathological Society of Great Britain & Ireland; £10,000 over 12 months
Dr Ingrid Muller; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Parental experiences of infant crying and other common infant symptoms National Institute of Health Research; £43,324 over 12 months
Dr Hajira Dambha-Miller; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education The development and evaluation of population clusters for integrated health and social care: A mixed method study on multimorbidity in England National Institute of Health Research; £1,440,094 over 24 months
Dr Sean Lim; Cancer Sciences Supplement award for PROSECO (A UK Multicentre Prospective Observational Study Evaluating COVID-19 Vaccine Immune Responses in Lymphoid Cancer) Blood Cancer UK; £137,638 over 12 months
Dr Adnan Khan; Clinical and Experimental Sciences A clinical study evaluating biomarkers of immunosenescence in the progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Wessex Medical Research; £19,933 over 18 months
Dr Adam Geraghty; Primary Care, Population Sciences and Medical Education Exploring experiences of self-management interventions for Chronic Widespread Pain including Fibromyalgia: A systematic review and qualitative synthesis National Institute of Health Research; £27,074 over 6 months Mr Nigel Hall; Human Development and Health Anti-reflux medication to reduce stricture formation following oesophageal atresia repair National Institute of Health Research; £121,423 over 90 months Mr Nigel Hall; Human Development and Health CONservative TReatment of Appendicitis in Children – a randomised controlled Trial – CONTRACT 2. National Institute of Health Research; £1,074,742 over 48 months Dr Christine Jones; Clinical and Experimental Sciences Primary prevention of cytomegalovirus in pregnancy: addressing the gaps National Institute of Health Research; £23,688 over 12 months
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES Prof Jean-Yves Pitarakis; School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences Novel Approaches to Comparing the Predictive Accuracy of Nested Models in Data Rich and Heterogeneous Predictor Environments ESRC; £315,420 over 36 months Prof Leor Barack; School of Mathematical Sciences LISA Ground Segment: support for 2021-2024 Science And Technology Facilities Council; £13,839 over 12 months Dr Matthew Ryan (PI) & Dr Paolo Spada (Co-I); School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences Participedia Phase Two: Strengthening democracy by mobilizing knowledge of democratic innovations Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; £7,446 over 24 months
Prof Gareth Griffiths; Cancer Sciences AGILE: Seamless Phase I/Iia Platform for the Rapid Evaluation of Candidates for COVID-19 treatment MRC; £741,721 over 24 months
Prof Brienna Perelli-Harris; School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences The Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) in the UK Investigating demographic changes in the family and advancing online survey methodology UK Research and Innovation; £985,197 over 36 months
Prof Gareth Griffiths; Cancer Sciences Optimizing MATrix as remission induction treatment for newly diagnosed primary CNS Lymphoma – a randomized phase III trial (OPTIMATE trial) Cancer Research UK; £577,528 over 94 months
Dr Ajit Nayak; Southampton Business School and Dr Enrico Gerding; ECS mKTP – Strategic transformation for growth: Building digital capabilities at Spearfish Security Innovate UK/Spearfish Security; £176,578 over 24 months
Prof Gareth Griffiths; Cancer Sciences CRAIN: A phase 1b clinical trial with dose escalation and dose expansion phases of ASTX660 in combination with standard radical radiotherapy in cervical cancer with chemoradiation Cancer Research UK; £579,027 over 48 months
This list encompasses a selection of awards logged with University of Southampton Finance from June to October 2021 that are not considered commercially sensitive.
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