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Vision for the Future: A strategic platform for vision research

3 February 2015

Researchers from Bristol Vision Institute (BVI) have been awarded a prestigious £1.4M research grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The project entitled ‘Vision for the Future’ has been funded under EPSRC’s Platform Grant Scheme which is focused on “providing flexible support that underpins adventurous research in world-leading research groups”. Platform grants are unique in that they are only awarded to groups that have a proven international track record and a substantial current portfolio of research council funding.

The grant, awarded to BVI investigators David Bull, Jeremy Burn, Nishan Canagarajah, Innes Cuthill, Iain Gilchrist, Casimir Ludwig and Nicholas Roberts, will  focus on developing a better understanding of the visual mechanisms and processes evolved in humans and other animals, and relating these to analogous technology challenges. In this context, the work programme will span three highly coupled themes:

  • Visual Immersion- investigating, developing and characterising future consumer and professional video formats that will enable increased viewer engagement with the content;   
  • Finding and hiding things – understanding visual search processes and translating these into machine solutions for detecting, hiding, classifying, describing and making decisions about complex visual information; 
  • Vision in motion –a better understanding of how motion facilitates scene understanding will inform the design of autonomous systems, provide new healthcare solutions and underpin new camera technologies.

Professor David Bull, Director of Bristol Vision Institute and Principle Investigator on the grant commented, “This is a major award for BVI and the University of Bristol. It will enable us to take a strategic and long term view of our research, addressing grand challenges in vision science and its applications. The interdisciplinary landscape of BVI will allow us to meet these challenges and to translate biological and psychological discoveries into technology solutions for human and machine applications.”

Alongside support from the University of Bristol, the grant has attracted significant international collaboration with world-leading organisations including: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Max Plank Institute (Tübingen), camera manufacturer ARRI, BBC R&D, Aardman Animations, QinetiQ and Thales, together with university collaborators from Rochester, Lund, Austin, UWA, Purdue and UWE.


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