A number of new grants have recently been awarded to UCLIC research teams!

The Textile Circularity Centre

(UKRI, 2021-2025. PI: Prof. Sharon Baurley, Royal College of Art)

Within the new Textile Circularity Centre (https://www.rca.ac.uk/research-innovation/research-centres/materials-science-research-centre/textiles-circularity-centre) UCLIC is driving the development of technology to support a textile circular economy by enhancing wellbeing and user experience. UCLIC will target technology innovation through three INNOVATE phases: Phase 1 (led by Dr Youngjun Cho) 'Innovate low-cost imaging technology to enhance understanding of textile characteristics and inform selection'; Phase 2 (led by Prof. Nadia Berthouze) 'Innovate affective body multimodal sensing technology to support slow-fashion and attachment to material and garments'; Phase 3 (led by Prof. Marianna Obrist) 'Innovate multisensory technologies to create compelling multisensory textile experiences that convey core concepts of a circular economy'.

From Sensing to Collaboration: Engineering, Exploring and Exploiting the Building Blocks of Embodied Intelligence.

(EPSRC, 2021-2026. PI: Prof. Posner, Oxford University; UCL team: Prof. Berthouze, Prof. Fleming)

Led by Oxford University and UCL, in collaboration with a cohort of academic, industrial and deployment partners,
From Sensing to Collaboration (https://eng.ox.ac.uk/news/from-sensing-to-collaboration/) is an ambitious five-year programme of work on Engineering, Exploring and Exploiting the Building Blocks of Embodied Intelligence. The overarching aim of this research programme is to deliver autonomous systems that amplify human capacity and potential. Currently, robots are too specialised, uncooperative and too unsafe to be productive at scale. To contribute to productivity in strategically important areas such as social care, manufacturing, logistics, service, inspection or agriculture, future generations of robots need to be able to sense, interpret, act, navigate, coordinate and collaborate with an unprecedented acuity. The main role of UCLIC will be the innovation of affective-aware technology with a strong focus on affective touch.

Consortium to Research Individual, Interpersonal and Social influences in Pain (CRIISP).

(UKRI and Versus Arthritis, 2021-2025. PI: Prof. Ed Keogh, Bath University; UCL team: PI: Prof. CdC Williams, co-I: Prof. Berthouze)

Millions of people worldwide live in chronic pain every day, a vast majority of whom have musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis. For many of them current treatments are not effective. Chronic pain is complex and multidimensional, with a number of psychosocial factors also having an impact on its underlying biological mechanisms. Guided by the experiences of people living with pain, this study aims to conduct transformative research by exploring how these factors may influence biological signals of pain thus leading the way to more innovative, holistic treatments.

For UKRI, the initiative is led by the Medical Research Council (MRC), with support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). This consortium (https://www.bath.ac.uk/announcements/major-ukri-versus-arthritis-investment-funds-transformative-pain-research/)
involves researchers from the universities of Bath, Bath Spa, Bristol, Cardiff, Keele, Royal Holloway, University College London, and the University of the West of England.

Beyond Individual Persuasion: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Interactive Visualisation and Sensing for Environmental Change.

(EPSRC, 2021-2024. UCLIC team: PI: Dr Enrico Costanza; Georgia Panagiotidou, Research Fellow).

This 3-year project seeks to innovate the design of interactive visualisations and sensing for environmental change. It aims to do so by reorienting them beyond their current use as levers of individual persuasion, towards an extended role as technologies that can link behaviour change and sustainability policy. The link aims to be bidirectional: on the one hand, helping people in relating existing climate change and energy policies to everyday life; on the other, empowering them in influencing and engaging with policy-making by generating an enhanced understanding of their own everyday practices. We believe that there is vast untapped potential for digital technology to catalyse engagement with environmental sustainability policies. This project puts forward the ambition to realize such potential, and the vision of transforming the role of digital technology in relation to behaviour change for environmental sustainability.