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Five small grants will boost research to improve digital futures


2 September 2021

Bristol’s Digital Futures Institute (BDFI) has announced its first set of small grants today (Thursday 2 September) to help University of Bristol researchers drive digital innovation for more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous futures.

The seed-corn grants of less than £10k each will fund a diverse range of collaborations. These include examining digital inequality in Brazil; the development of AI-driven apps for maths teaching in primary schools; addressing infrastructure in disrepair through immersive tech; exploring the intellectual interface between poetry and AI; and visualising smart energy systems.  

It’s hoped that the grants will help teams get together to drive innovative new research with sociotechnical approaches and the potential for impact, or to pilot concepts that may lead to future major research projects.  

BDFI Institute & Partnerships Manager Hayley Shaw said:  

“We were looking for applicants from different disciplines to come to us with their starting points for exciting new projects that contribute to the advancement of the BDFI mission. 

“Now we’re very excited to be working with such a fantastic range of experts and look forward to supporting their ambitions. As the institute develops, some projects will also make use of the institute’s ground-breaking new facilities such as the world’s first reality emulator, bringing together a unique number of technologies and networks to test theories in real-time.” 

To read more about the successful projects: 

ENDEAR – Experiencing infrastructure in disrepair (Principal Investigator: Dr Katharina Burger, School of Management) 

Developing an AI app to enable young children to create music and maths through play with wooden blocks (Principal Investigator: Prof Alf Coles, School of Education) 

Poetrishy (PI: Dr Rebecca Kosick, School of Modern Languages) 

Rethinking digital inclusion in Brazil (Principal Investigator: Dr Edward King, Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) 

Smart LENS: smart local energy system visualisations (Principal Investigator: Dr Ola Michalec, Department of Computer Science) 

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