UWE Bristol and Future Space listed as top Innovators in region

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TechSPARK recently produced their list of top entrepreneurs, techies and innovators who they have named the Top Innovators in the region.

TechSPARK is a not-for-profit network dedicated to connecting, educating and strengthening the digi-tech cluster in the West. They work with tech and digital businesses from Startups to Scaleups, SME’s to Global Corporations based in the region to help them to grow.

In 2019 TechSPARK compiled a list of top innovators from across the region to celebrate and recognise their achievements. We were delighted that the 2021 list featured Aimee Skinner, Innovation Manager at Future Space and Mark Corderoy, Entrepreneur in Residence at UWE Bristol.

Aimee said:

“I am thrilled to have been named as one of the region’s top 75 innovators. The list is brimming with innovative thinkers, future leaders, and entrepreneurs, and I am proud to be considered amongst them.”

Aimee has background in Environmental Science and a decade of continuous improvement experience in regulated industries. She is currently Innovation Manager at Future Space, as well as co-managing Bristol Innovators’ Group. Future Space is part of the University Enterprise Zone, based on UWE Bristol Frenchay campus, and managed by Oxford Innovation. In her role she actively supports the growth of start-ups and SMEs within the South West, providing a range of business support and advisory services, as well as running University engagement opportunities, such as a dedicated Internship programme for resident businesses.

Mark said:

“It’s really pleasing that our work in the University Enterprise Zone is being recognised. Launching a start-up is an ambitious venture for anyone, and we are always trying to find new ways to help these companies succeed.”

With a background in engineering and technology in a variety of commercial settings, Mark is an experienced Technologist and Mentor. He has been at UWE Bristol for last four years as Incubation Manager for the Bristol Robotics Laboratory the leading and largest academic centre for multi-disciplinary robotics research in the UK and also Incubation Manager for Launch Space, a programme that provides business support and space to start-up businesses in UWE Bristol’s Enterprise Zone.

To contact Aimee email ASkinner@oxin.co.uk and to contact Mark email Mark.Corderoy@uwe.ac.uk .



UWE Bristol academics explore if a new concept: “SAILL” (Struggles Around Independent Learning and Living) could help us understand more about student mental health issues.

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Publishing with a UWE graduate, Dr Miles Thompson (co-lead of the Psychological Sciences Research Group, PSRG) and Dr Chris Pawson Associate Head of Department for Psychology) present a new study about how students navigate their entry into higher education, making the transition to independent learning and living.

Student mental health issues are of increasing concern both inside and outside of the higher education (HE) sector. This qualitative study explores contemporary students’ experiences of their transition into HE to try and gain an up-to-date picture of the multiple, potential sources of distress they may be experiencing.

Focus groups and interviews were held with a total of 10 participants. The results clustered around three themes:

(1) Challenges of independent living

(2) Challenges of independent learning

(3) Social support and pressure

In the discussion, the authors note how the existing literature generally supports these new findings. Indeed, they explain how many of these issues have been studied for many years, even decades. As such they wonder what, if anything, has changed such that student distress appears to be on the increase?

The authors go on to consider why the challenges of learning and living independently – “a consistent and longstanding part of university life” – is possibly causing more problems now than previously. The authors provisionally introduce a new concept and potential focus for future work in this area: SAILL (Struggles Around Independent Learning and Living). They consider whether such a focus might help open up new pathways for researchers.

Simon Phillips, Deputy Director Student and Academic Services at UWE Bristol who is thanked by the authors comments:

“Mental health problems in students are rising across the sector. We are grateful for all research that can help us understand more about why and improve the services that we offer to our students. Anecdotally, we recognise this new notion of SAILL in our student well-being caseload. With that in mind, we look forward to working with the researchers to try and understand more about SAILL issues in order to better serve our students throughout their time in Higher Education.”

The full publication is freely accessible to all both online and to download here

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series – New for 2021

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UWE Bristol has developed a series of inspiring workshops for individuals, teams and organisations. Delivered through a blend of peer-to-peer learning and interactive sessions attendees will learn proactive practical skills and tools to enhance their professional and personal impact.

Each workshop is interactive and reflective, with live practice sessions to explore and apply learning within a supportive community of practice. All workshops are delivered fully online through our learning platform which puts you in contact with your tutor and fellow students and there are no formal entry requirements.

Find out more about the courses below:

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Power of Good Meetings

Understanding the importance and power of good meetings is the same as investing in the success of any business or vocation. Whether you are hosting, chairing, facilitating or participating in meetings, there are a number of vital things to be aware of and actively support in order to ensure that the organisation, its members, beneficiaries and stakeholders benefit from the power of meetings.

In this interactive workshop, we will be exploring the common pitfalls and landmines in meetings as well as developing tools for good practice towards actual mastery. The workshop is designed for anyone who has ever sat in a meeting and who wishes to become a great host, chair, facilitator or participant.

Programme dates: (all sessions run from 10:00 – 11:30)

  • 26-Jan 22
  • 09-Feb 22
  • 23-Feb 22
  • 09-Mar 22
  • 23-Mar 22
  • 06-Apr 22

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: The Practice of Attention in a World of Distraction

This workshop is about how we attend, what we attend to, and the stories we tell about it. If you feel exhausted by the ever-increasing wealth of competing demands for your attention, you are not alone. At every turn our attention is subject to capture and most of the time, leaders and managers feel unable to freely give attention to the kinds of activities they consider most important.

The workshop is designed for leaders, managers and others wanting to explore the impact of the Attention Economy and how to address the emerging issues. Gain a set of practical tools that can be used by leaders, managers and all others involved in an organisation or context. Methodologies and content are particularly designed to make good use of a diverse group, so we welcome people in a range of different roles.

Programme dates: 30 Nov – 7 December 2021 (two online sessions)

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Trust and Collaboration

Now more than ever, leaders and managers are required to create, develop and support individuals and teams in a range of online environments. However, when we encounter each other in a physical environment, there are a range of nuances, sub-conscious signals and observations that help us establish trust and build collaborative relationships. The more we can be aware of what is gained and lost in the virtual environment, the better our leadership and management will be.

In this interactive workshop, we will explore how to create ways of working together in a virtual environment that develops trust and supports collaboration. We will explore the dynamics in both existing and new teams and learn how to include new members in a way that supports everyone.
Onboarding a new member of staff exclusively online is a challenge that many leaders and managers have had to face in the last year and there are many lessons learnt in the process that we will investigate and develop further together.

Programme dates (all sessions run from 13:30-15:00):

  • 26-Jan 22         
  • 09-Feb 22          
  • 23-Feb 22         
  • 09-Mar 22      
  • 23-Mar 22            
  • 06-Apr 22        

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Effective Tools for Habits That Work for You

Recent events have highlighted how important effective routines and habits are in supporting us through challenging times. Adapting to working from home, social distancing, balancing work and personal commitments, career changes, getting fit, wellbeing, being resilient, and the list goes on!

This is for anyone that recognises they need to develop effective habits and practices in order to make changes in their lives, professionally and/or personally. The tools that we’ll use are not specific to an industry or management level but useful and effective for all. We bring the tools for designing habits, you will bring your goals, vision, or desired outcomes!

Programme dates: (both sessions run from 09:30 – 12:30)

  • 20-Oct 21
  • 17-Nov 21

UWE Bristol Inspire Workshop Series: Planning and Delivering Virtual Events Successfully

The recent disruption that the coronavirus has caused has required organisations to quickly transition to running events of all shapes and sizes online rather than in the traditional in-person format. While there will continue to be a place for full in-person events in the future, the flexibility and reach of delivering events virtually are such that organisations will continue to harness online technology and delivery of events as part of a successful engagement strategy.

Designed to stimulate, inspire, and engage, this two-day interactive workshop will provide an opportunity for you to not only learn the fundamentals of designing and running a virtual event but also how to ensure success and the creation of a lasting legacy. The workshop is designed for individuals and SMEs who are currently running or looking to run, events in a virtual or hybrid format.

Programme date:

  • 18-Jan 22, 10:00-1200 & 13:00-15:00

Click here for more information about all of UWE Bristol’s Professional Development Courses.  


UWE Bristol’s Associate Professor in Filmmaking, Charlotte Crofts convenes discussion panel at Symposium.

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Charlotte, is an Associate Professor in Filmmaking at UWE Bristol and Editor in Chief of Screenworks an online, peer-reviewed journal of screen media practice research. She was invited to convene a round table discussion panel on “Publishing Screen Media Practice Research: Editorial Approaches” at the annual MPE/MeCCSA Practice Network Symposium 2021.

The Practice Network Symposium is delivered in association with the journal of Media Practice Education and is hosted by the Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technology at Solent University, Southampton. It’s also supported by the MeCCSA Practice Network that champions practice within the Media Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA). MeCCSA are dedicated to maintaining and developing links with the creative industries and relevant networks.

This round table discussion with the editorial board of Screenworks, focussed on the journal’s evolving editorial approaches. Using Screenworks as a case study, they explored the dialogic relationship between written statement and practice, critically examining the peer review process (from both sides of the experience) and outlining the journal’s journey to becoming more accessible and inclusive.  They also explored Screenworks’ role in academic publication of the emerging field of videographic film criticism.

Read the event details and view the YouTube footage below.

Dr Charlotte Crofts’ research spans traditional publication, practice and knowledge exchange, including filmmaking (both documentary and narrative), pervasive media (award-winning locative heritage apps) and curatorial practice.

She has led impact case studies for REF14 and REF21. She is on the steering committee of UNESCO Bristol City of Film, is director of the Cary Comes Home Festival (established 2014). She is co-founder of the Angela Carter society and is currently developing a feature film adaptation of Angela Carter’s ‘Flesh and the Mirror’ which has been supported by the BFI Development Fund.

Innovative SMEs gather to develop their digital innovation business ideas

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On the 7 and 8 July 2021, UWE Bristol hosted an in person innovation workshop for SMEs in the region. The workshop was funded as part of UWE Bristol’s Digital Innovation Fund, which was is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Innovation leads came together to deliver interactive creative workshops to SMEs. The sessions provided much needed time for small business owners to get away from their desks or kitchen table. For most this was the first time since early 2020 that they had been in a workshop or networking environment. The attendees worked on innovative ideas with like-minded people and got their mindset and innovative concepts ready for funding. The delivery team included Thanh Quan-Nicholls (Digital Innovation), Aimee Skinner (Future Space), Mark Corderoy (Launch Space), Lucy Paine (Innovation for Growth) and Alan Gould (Lightholm Consulting).

The workshops were held at at Future Space, part of the University Enterprise Zone.

Businesses learnt techniques for ideation, honed their pitching skills, learnt about investment and funding, and fine-tuned their bid-writing skills. Businesses also had to rapidly solve problems, pitched for chocolate and became bid reviewers. Future Space transformed their networking space into a spacious and safe area for businesses to gather and it was wonderful to see the space so lively!

Thanh Quan-Nicholls, Digital Innovation Lead UWE says:

“So much has changed over this last year and as the markets recover it is important for SMEs to dedicate time for innovation as this will be the key to their future competitiveness and growth.

It was great after so long to see businesses working together in person – at these events, businesses also learn from each other and this is the part that is hardest to recreate remotely. Businesses told us they find meeting other innovative businesses empowering and motivating. The warm and inspiring cohort reminded us of best of the region’s spirit of collaboration and diversity.”

The businesses sectors were very wide-ranging, including creative technologies, visitor economy, edtech, legaltech, not-for-profits, engineering, software and marketing. They included new start-ups right through to established businesses.

Businesses attending get to bid over the next few weeks for micro grants of up to £5000 to implement their ideas. This forms part of UWE’s commitment to providing a supportive and accessible business infrastructure.

Tracey John, Director of RBI says:

“Putting time into upskilling disruptive businesses and helping them access new opportunities is a key part of ensuring diversity and economic growth. We are creating a pipeline of innovative and ambitious businesses for the future.”

Find out more about the Digital Innovation Fund here.