2016 has been a very eventful year from a European perspective. You’ll all be aware of the happenings in June 2016 and subsequent debate, but there’s been a lot of good Euro news here at Manchester Met that has given us much to smile about. The following is just a quick snapshot of some of the highs of the past twelve months.
Starting with Horizon 2020, Prof Tristan McKay’s group are part of a European team developing therapies for Batten Disease through the BATCure project which aims to improve the lives of the estimated 1 million + children affected by this group of conditions. Moving out of the lab and towards the intersection of computing and biological imaging Prof Rene Doursat and colleagues will be lending their expertise to the ImageInLife Innovative Training Network. ImageInLife will train young European researchers in imaging complex biological systems. Taking our computing in a slightly different direction are Drs Keeley Crockett and Jim O’Shea, who are working with other research organisations and border agencies in the iCROSS project to examine new approaches to border control based on some of our existing technology (Silent Talker).
In the business arena, Prof Sally Randles’ new SMART-map project is connecting industry with research and civil society organisations to encourage responsible technology development and colleagues including the Prof Sue Baines and Prof Alberto Paucar-Caceres are working with European partners to make more links between the research base and business through the SAUNAC and DiTEM Erasmus + projects. Sally’s work on responsibility in research and innovation (RRI) comes to the fore again in the JERRI project, which will develop and pilot plans for RRI at two of the EU’s largest Research and Technology Organisations, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in Germany and TNO in the Netherlands.
Our ground-breaking work on apprenticeships is also being recognised at the European level, with Liz Gorb’s SME Gap Erasmus + project which focuses on exchange of best practices with other European players.
We’ve also seen our first Horizon 2020 projects in Arts and Humanities. Ulysses Sengupta and Rob Hyde will lead Manchester Met’s contribution to the Manchester hub of SynchroniCity, a large-scale IoT pilot creating a network of reference zones across Europe. And, in a truly interdisciplinary endeavour, Prof Felicity Colman will lead a philosophical think tank in developing recommendations for ethics in ICT based research through her Ethics of Coding project.
In the field of education, our knowledge is feeding into improving the quality of teaching in the UK and abroad through a range of Erasmus + projects. Dr Geraldine Lee-Treweek contribution to the TEACHER and REFLECT LAB projects will (respectively) develop new approaches to pre-school teacher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina and support the application of inquiry based learning. Prof Nicola Whitton’s contribution to the Learning Games project will share our expertise in the use of play in education with others across Europe and Rebecca Patterson and John Rainer will be using drama (and more particularly Shakespeare) to develop approaches to teaching English Language and European Values through the UDSTEL project. Geraldine features again with her PAPYRUS project, which will help to upskill youth workers to respond to the refugee crisis.
Coming back to research, Drs Bethan Owen and Ling Lim will be applying our climate change modelling expertise in the ATM4E project, which will explore the potential for environmentally-optimised flight operations.
Staying with the sustainability theme, a final mention for our colleagues in International Office who have secured funding from Erasmus + to enable staff mobility, which will allow a team from Manchester Met to build on their relationship with the College of African Wildlife Management through a series of activities planned for 2017.
And with that, have a very Euro Christmas and we look forward to working with you in the New Year!