3 July Research Seminar

June 18, 2013 in Education by Tony Wright


GoWe invite you to participate in our ground-breaking Catalyst Seminars.
Please confirm your attendance today by clicking the link.


Research for Innovation: Myths, Facts and Case Studies 3rd July at 9am

Bringing theory and practice together, previewing a new technological prototype, and lunch!

Don’t forget Situating Social Innovation tomorrow at 2pm


Catalyst Research Seminar
Interdisciplinary Research for Innovation: Myths, Facts and Case Studies
3/07/2013 – 9:00 to 2:15
Lancaster University Management School, Lecture Theatre 2.

Myth! Interdisciplinary research is inherently ‘good’. Good for whom? The ‘community’, businesses, the researchers themselves?
Good for what? Incremental, radical, disruptive, mundane: what kind of innovation?

The Catalyst project invites all scholars of innovation to a half-day research seminar to discuss the value and ‘values’, challenges, lessons learned, failures and successes of interdisciplinary research.

Join our invited speakers Alan Blackwell(Cambridge) and David Tyfield(Lancaster). Participate in the discussion with our panellists; Jon Whittle(Lancaster), Leanne Morrison(Southampton), Iain Gilchrist (Bristol), and Alastair Buckley(Sheffield) who represent – four exciting projects funded by the EPRSC Cross Disciplinary Interfaces Programme (CDIP). Followed by the first public preview of a new technological prototype from the Catalyst project ‘Access ASD’. The seminar will bring ’state-of-the-art’ academic research in interdisciplinary innovation to the forefront in addition to investigating what actually happens on the ‘ground’.

9.00     Registration & Coffee
9.20     Catalystas Introduction
9.30     ’Living in Metaphors: Catalysis and Crucibles’
             Alan Blackwell 
             Chair: Ruth McNally, Anglia Ruskin

10.15   ‘From Disruptive Innovation to Sociotechnical Systems
             Transition?’ David Tyfield

11.00   Coffee break
11.15   C-DIP Projects & Panel Discussions
             Chair: Gordon Blair, Lancaster

12.15   Comfort break
12.20   Access ASD Show and Tell of new prototype
             Chair: Maria Angela Ferrario, Lancaster

13.15   Lunch
14.15   Ends

Please reserve your place: http://catalystseminarjuly.eventbrite.co.uk

Alan Blackwell
Alan Blackwell is Reader in Interdisciplinary Design at the University of Cambridge, and co-founder of the Crucible Network for Research in Interdisciplinary Design. Following degrees in Engineering, Comparative Religion, Computer Science and Psychology, he has lately become resigned to a reputation as Jack of all trades (and correspondingly, master of none). He is the lead author of the NESTA policy research report “Creating value across boundaries: Maximising the return from interdisciplinary innovation.”
‘Living in Metaphors: Catalysis and crucibles’ The Crucible network for research in interdisciplinary design has been operating since 2001. In this time, network members have coordinated and participated in more than 150 design projects, exhibitions, performances, and reflexive policy interventions. This talk will reflect on the strategic objectives and operating methods of Crucible, taking the scientific/industrial metaphor of the crucible as a starting point for comparison with the diverse activities of the Catalyst project.
David Tyfield
David Tyfield is a Lecturer in the Sociology Department and Co-Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) at Lancaster University. His research focuses on the interaction of political economy, social change and developments in science, technology and innovation, with a particular focus on issues of low-carbon transition in China. He is lead author of the NESTA report ‘Game-Changing China: Lessons from China about Disruptive Low Carbon Innovation’ (2010, in English and Mandarin), author of The Economics of Science (Routledge, 2012 in 2 volumes) and is currently working on a new book titled Innovation & Inequality: From the Crisis of Neoliberalism to Liberalism 2.0.
‘From Disruptive Innovation to Sociotechnical Systems Transition?’ The idea of ‘disruptive innovation’ is an increasingly ubiquitous buzzword, yet many casual uses of the term miss its essential and unique characteristics. This talk will explore the various social, cultural and political conditions that would need to be in place for disruptive innovations to translate into socio-technical systems. We will consider some of the recent discussion, and anxieties, regarding the potential implications of massively open online courses (MOOCs) for research and teaching in higher education, including interdisciplinary research.


Catalyst, Lancaster: Catalyst brings together academics and communities to jointly imagine and build the next generation of tools for social change, and to explore innovative, bottom-up technology-mediated solutions to major problems in society. Now half way through, the three year project the team share world-leading theoretical underpinnings and state of the art insights from social science, computing, design and management studies. Across a series of sub-projects ‘Sprints’ and ‘Launchpads’ communities and academics have come together to envision and build next generation tools, using technology to make ‘the world’ a better place.

Jon Whittle
Jon Whittle, Catalyst PI, is Professor and Chair of Software Engineering in the Department of Computing at Lancaster University. His interests are in software modeling, where “model” is to be broadly interpreted — to include requirements, architecture and design models, but also other types of models found in modern software, such as ontology models. His most recent work is typified by a desire for software and software engineering methods to have a visible impact on society and on the lives of those living in it.
Jon has a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, worked at NASA Ames Research Center, and was an Associate Professor at George Mason University in Virginia. He’s taught across the world, most notably at India’s prestigious IIT. Jon’s research has been funded by the EPSRC, NASA, the FAA, Aerospace Corporation and the Royal Society.

UBhave, Southampton: UBhave is a multidisciplinary research programme examining the power and challenges of using new digital technologies to deliver behaviour change interventions. Specifically the project examines the feasibility and acceptability of using Smartphones and online social networking to deliver and disseminate behaviour change interventions for weight management and positive well-being. New systems architectures, algorithms, and intelligent triggering systems have been designed, with new statistical, visualisation and open source tools in development, to enable researchers and those with little or no programming experience to create and evaluate their own Smartphone-based interventions.

Leanne MorrisonDr Leanne Morrison is a Senior Research Fellow in Psychology, University of Southampton. Leanne’s primary research interests lie in the use of digital technologies to deliver interventions designed to change health-related behaviours. She is particularly interested in furthering understanding of how we can enhance users’ engagement with these interventions and optimise health-related outcomes. Leanne is currently working on the UBhave project, led by Professor Lucy Yardley.

Decision Making in an Unstable World, Bristol: For humans and machines decision making is not always simple. Sometimes the world changes so quickly that experience does not always tell you how to behave. Humans can cope reasonably well in this unstable and complicated world but we don’t have a full understanding of how they do this. Solving this problem requires a wide range of researchers from very different backgrounds to work together; a team from Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Psychology, Economics, Earth Sciences, Geography, Neurology, Education and Biology. We have planned a range of activities to help build a common language and understanding which will result in a new and sustainable community of decision making researchers.

Iain GilchristIain D. Gilchrist – Professor of Neuropsychology, University of Bristol. Iain studied Psychology as an undergraduate at Durham University and then carried out a PhD in Cognitive Science at Birmingham University. Following research jobs in Strasbourg and Durham in 1999 he moved to Bristol as a Lecturer where he has been ever since. The core focus of his research has been on how visual information in humans is used to guide action. This interest has led to a wide range of interdisciplinary collaborations and project including: studies of CCTV operators in control rooms, studies of search and foraging in children with autism and the eye movements of horses. He is a former Director of Bristol Neuroscience, lead the development of The Bristol Clinical Research and Imaging Centre, is a Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Solar Energy for Future Societies, Sheffield: Our objective is to explore knowledge about solar energy research with publics and communities. An interdisciplinary academic team, includes staff from Physics, Geography, Architecture and EEE working alongside local residents from the town of Stocksbridge, Sheffield. Through workshops, informal meetings and exhibitions the team explores questions related to renewable energy, aiming to bridge the gap between ‘public’ knowledge and that of the scientific community. Emerging from such interactions, are a number of local projects which address issues related to renewable energy and sustainability.

Dr Alastair Buckley, University of Sheffield is the PI for the Solar Energies for Future Societies Project. Alastair comes to this project with a science and manufacturing background. He graduated in Chemical Physics in 1996 followed by a PhD in surface science relating to lighting. In 2000 he moved to an Edinburgh start up company exploiting organic light emitting devices for miniature consumer displays. Following the company’s growth to 70 employees and 100000 displays per month and subsequent cashflow induced demise he returned to academia in 2008 joining the department of Physics and Astronomy in Sheffield. Since then he has researched organic PV technology and solar energy; particularly looking for new ways to address the solar energy topic.

For further information about the Catalyst Seminars contact: d.stubbs@lancaster.ac.uk
Associated Catalyst Staff: http://www.catalystproject.org.uk/content/project-team