Digital Skills short courses and bootcamps

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In our fast-evolving digital world, digital skills are vital. For businesses and individuals alike, a strong set of digital skills can help to navigate through the constantly changing digital environment.

At UWE Bristol, we want to support individuals and businesses on their digital journey. We have a range of skills short courses to suit a wide variety of needs including cyber security, data science and artificial intelligence; and games development.

Some of our skills courses are fully funded or have discounts available to those eligible. Find out about how we can support your business or individual needs below.

The future is digital. The future is now.

Commercial Games Development

This bootcamp introduces games development and how to create immersive, entertainment experiences in context of what makes game products engaging and commercially successful. The first half of the course is designed to build professional skills and software competency. The second half specialises in the development of a “vertical slice” game demo for prospective employers from commercial studios as a portfolio piece, or to form the basis of a portfolio ahead of self-employment. There is also the opportunity to learn about the application of games technology for commercial purposes other than those solely for entertainment.

This 16-week programme will provide you with an overview of how games are developed, towards a goal of polished, engaging entertainment products across a range of sectors. Central to your experience will be training in Unity; a game engine and real-time development platform with many applications both inside and outside the entertainment industry.

Find out more here.

Games Technology

The industrial application of games technology bootcamp has been developed through collaboration between senior academics with professional games industry experience and a rich array of serious games, immersive learning and visualisation/simulation projects behind them, in conjunction with small and medium Bristol-based game companies and start-ups and the Foundry Technology Affinity Space at UWE Bristol.

This bootcamp introduces games development and how games technology can be used to create engaging, immersive, games and non-game experiences for industry and the workplace.

Find out more here.

Cyber Security Bootcamp

More information to follow. Please complete this short form to be the first to hear about this course.

Zero Carbon Bootcamp

More information to follow. Please complete this short form to be the first to hear about this course.

Data Science & AI

  • Full details to follow
  • Closed cohort of women
  • Cohort aimed at 19-25 year olds but open to all
  • Will learn mathematics and computer programming, data science, software development, machine learning & AI approaches

Apply via the website, or directly via the ROI form.

UX Design

  • Full details to follow
  • Closed cohort for those living with health conditions or impairments
  • Learn advanced aspects of UX design for digital platforms, responsive design for smart phones and robots, access ‘Disability confident’ employment and understand UX design trends

Apply via the website, or directly via the ROI form.

Cloud-based Skills

  • Full details to follow
  • Delivered by Weston College in Partnership with Microsoft Learn
  • Cohort aimed at 19-25 year olds but open to all
  • Master Microsoft cloud-based apps
  • Understand and use Microsoft Power Platforms

Apply via the website, or directly via the ROI form.

New Community STEM Club in Eastville launched

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A new Community STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) Club run by UWE Bristol academics has launched at the Old Library Community Hub in Eastville.

The first session was incredibly well attended, with around 60 children and their parents and carers getting involved in the various activities on offer.

The Bristol version of Minecraft was especially popular at the club. Developed by the DETI Inspire team, local design and engineering consultancy Atkins, and Science Hunters, it gives children the opportunity to digitally explore, build, re-design and re-engineer their city and the surrounding area.

The Thymio robots were also very well received during the session. The small androids are designed to introduce children to programming and coding through interactive play. There were also a range of “analogue” STEM themed activities available, including construction sets, games, craft and books.

Children taking part in the STEM club

The sessions take place every Thursday at 3.30 and are free of charge. They are run on a drop-in basis with no prior booking required. The activities vary from week to week, depending on volunteer and equipment availability.

The club is co-developed by Old Library volunteers and the DETI Inspire Team at UWE. It receives further support from the STEM Ambassador Hub for the West of England. For more information on how to get involved or how to support the club, please get in touch with or

UWE Bristol Professor contributes to United Nations report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

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Professor Jona Razzaque (Professor of Environmental Law; Environmental Law and Sustainability Research Group at UWE Bristol) has recently completed a ground-breaking report for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Professor Razzaque acted as a Coordinating Lead Author of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.  Funded by the United Nations, this landmark report presents a wide range of policy responses to promote transformative change, and contributes to post-2030 Agenda of the United Nations for biodiversity governance. The report involved:

  • 30 Coordinating Lead Authors
  • 150 experts from 50 countries
  • 350 contributing authors
  • 6 chapters. 

The report warns about the danger of the global decline of nature and the acceleration of species extinction at unprecedented rates. The Report finds that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, more than ever before in human history. Amongst the species that are at risk that are highlighted by the Report include frogs and other amphibians (a 40% decline), reef-forming corals (a 33% decline), marine mammals, insects and at least 680 vertebrates.

IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson, states “The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”

The report also tells us that it is not too late to make a difference, but only if we start now at every level from local to global,” he said. “Through ‘transformative change’, nature can still be conserved, restored and used sustainably – this is also key to meeting most other global goals. By transformative change, we mean a fundamental, system-wide reorganization across technological, economic and social factors, including paradigms, goals and values.”

Professor Razzaque adds that “While international biodiversity law has evolved over the years, progress to meet Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals is not satisfactory. Our chapter on ‘Options for Decision makers’ demonstrates that the implementation of 2050 Vision for Biodiversity will require concerted efforts in relation to target setting and policy responses that foster transformative change. Along with existing policy instruments and regulations, additional measures and transformative governance approaches are necessary to address the root causes of the deterioration of nature.

Based on the systematic review of about 15,000 scientific and government sources, the Report also draws on indigenous and local knowledge.

The impact of the Global Assessment has been far-reaching, as it tracks all global, regional, national and local impacts. Find out more about impacts from the IPBES Impact Tracking Database (TRACK).

Some of the Coordinating Lead Authors at the annual meeting

Globally, for example, between 2019-2021, the Global Assessment Report has influenced:

  • 11 new/changed laws or regulations
  • 6 new/changed policies
  • 5 new/changed investment decisions.

In the UK, the following examples highlight the influence of the Global Assessment Report on various decisions and measures:

  • UK government draws on the findings of the Global Assessment in the Green Finance Strategy
  • Welsh Government cancels plans to build £1.6bn highway
  • Members of the Welsh Parliament propose Bill on non-carbon emission public vehicles
  • British Natural History Museum declares Planetary Emergency
  • UK government launches a Call for Evidence on safeguarding biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories
  • Cambridge City Council declares Biodiversity Emergency.

Professor Razzaque acted as the Coordinating Lead Author and contributed to the following four key outputs; these are available in UWE Bristol Research Repository:

Further reading:

Come and work with us..

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We are looking for some exceptional people to come and join the team at UWE Bristol’s Research, Business and Innovation

Help to Grow

Led by the Faculty of Business and Law, and supported by RBI, Help to Grow is a government funded programme delivering leadership training to small and medium sized enterprises.

Project Support Officer

The Help to Grow Project Support Officer will need to provide excellent support for the programme, supporting the onboarding of businesses on to the University and programme systems and providing support for the delivery of face to face activity, co-ordinating room bookings, catering and on-site arrangements.

We are looking for a clear communicator with an excellent eye for detail, who is able to offer exceptional customer service to all of the programme stakeholders. You will be highly organised with competent administration and IT skills and be able to adapt to using a number of different systems, using your own initiative to manage a busy and varied workload.

  • Salary: £22,847 – £26,341
  • Hours: Full time. Fixed term 31 March 2024
  • Closing date: 29/09/2021

Apply here

Research and Knowledge Exchange.

Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager FET & FBL

The Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager for the Faculties of Environment and Technology, and Business and Law. They will be responsible for identifying, developing and delivering across these faculties as well as university-wide Research and Knowledge Exchange externally funded projects for RBI, ensuring alignment to the University’s strategic ambitions. They will work closely with the Deans and Associate Deans responsible for research and external engagement to drive the development and implementation of Research and Knowledge Exchange strategy for these faculties. Leading and managing the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Team, and coordinating the input of Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Managers, Bid Developers, relevant service staff, academics and external partners in the development of bids and overseeing submission.

  • Salary: £46,042 – £51,779
  • Hours: Full time
  • Closing date: 07/10/2021

Apply here

Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager ACE & HAS

The Senior Research and Knowledge Exchange Manager for the Faculties of Arts, Creative Industries and Education, and Health and Applied Sciences. They will be responsible for identifying, developing and delivering across these faculties as well as university-wide Research and Knowledge Exchange externally funded projects for RBI ensuring alignment to the University’s strategic ambitions.  They will work closely with the Deans and Associate Deans responsible for research and external engagement to drive the development and implementation of Research and Knowledge Exchange strategy for these faculties. Leading and managing the Research and Knowledge Exchange (RKE) Team, and coordinating the input of Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Managers, Bid Developers, relevant service staff, academics and external partners in the development of bids and overseeing submission.

  • Salary: £46,042 – £51,779
  • Hours: Full Time
  • Closing date: 07/10/2021

Apply here

Graduate School

The Graduate School is part of the Research, Business and Innovation Professional Services team and supports postgraduate researchers (PhD, DPhil, MPhil, Prof Doc) and their supervisors.

Graduate School Administrator: Part time

As a Graduate School Administrator you will provide administration support for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and their supervisors and ensure continuous improvement of processes for a professional service and its customers. The main tasks will involve supporting PGR recruitment, processing postgraduate research applications, working closely with academic supervisors to organise PGR interviews, updating relevant databases, attending Faculty Research Degrees Committees, tracking individual postgraduate researcher milestone deadlines and sending timely reminders.

  • Salary: £22,847 – £26,341
  • Hours: Part-time
  • Closing date: 18/10/2021

Apply here

Graduate school administrator: Full Time

As a Graduate School Administrator you will provide administration support for postgraduate researchers (PGRs) and their supervisors and ensure continuous improvement of processes for a professional service and its customers. The main tasks will involve supporting PGR recruitment, processing postgraduate research applications, working closely with academic supervisors to organise PGR interviews, updating relevant databases, attending Faculty Research Degrees Committees, tracking individual postgraduate researcher milestone deadlines and sending timely reminders; replying to queries received via telephone, email and in-person. 

  • Salary: £22,847 – £26,341
  • Hours: Part-time
  • Closing date: 18/10/2021

Apply here

Introducing our research strength focus: Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience

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At UWE Bristol we are proud of our active and collaborative research community of bold and innovative thinkers that are breaking research boundaries.

Our four key research strengths are:  

  • Creative industries and technologies
  • Digital Futures
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience

We want to highlight some of our amazing research to you, so this year we will be focusing on one strength at a time.  For the next few months, we will be sharing with you lots of curated content around our research strength, Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience.

The challenges of global warming, finite resources and shrinking biodiversity could not be clearer – the future of the planet and our world is at stake, and we won’t get a second chance. Net-zero carbon buildings, sustainable mobility, green agriculture, emissions and air quality are just some of the critical issues we are tackling.

Our research focus in this area include:

  • transforming construction, infrastructure and design
  • food security, water management and air quality
  • future mobility, connectivity and place.

To introduce this research strength we are going to share with you two of our Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience research case studies:

Air Quality: Putting people at the heart of environmental changeProfessor Enda Hayes, Professor of Air Quality and Carbon Management

We can’t calculate our way out of environmental disaster. Numbers matter, but more than that, it’s the people who cause the figures to rise or fall that will lead the way. A Europe-wide initiative proves as much, with thousands of citizens having their say and acting on it.

“We’ve become too obsessed with the numbers and we’ve forgotten about the fact that it’s about protecting people,” says Professor Enda Hayes, Professor of Air Quality and Carbon Management and Director of UWE Bristol’s Air Quality Management Resource Centre (AQMRC), and Technical Director of ClairCity.

He refers to the predominant approach to tackling the world’s air pollution crisis, which is linked to seven million premature deaths each year. “We need to think differently about the way we manage pollution, how we monitor it and how we create interventions that can maximise the public health outcome.”

The answer, as evidenced by the Centre’s work, lies in bottom-up democracy – enabling citizens to be part of the conversation.

“People are realising that technology alone will not resolve the problem, we need societal change where we collectively do things differently. It will take time, but we will get there.”

One of the greatest challenges – and most pressing needs – is engaging with hard-to-reach communities, who are often the most adversely affected by poor air quality.

Read the full case study here .

Cycling infrastructure: Changing the way we moveProfessor John Parkin, Professor of Transport Engineering

We all know that cycling is good for us. It improves our physical and mental health, and it’s better for the environment than most other forms of transport. So why don’t more people do it and what might encourage them to take it up? This is where social behaviour meets science, and delivers on sustainable change.

“A key part of what we do is to develop evidence that influences policy, educates and informs the transport profession, and contributes to design practice,” says John Parkin, Professor of Transport Engineering and Deputy Director of UWE Bristol’s Centre for Transport and Society (CTS).

“Our core activity is gathering and interpreting empirical data to identify changes in transport provision that will encourage pro-social behaviour change,” says John, who along with his colleagues, is helping to bridge the gap between social priorities and transport infrastructure.

CTS has studied the motivations of travellers in 18 towns and cities in England, which revealed that they are more likely to take up cycling where there is greater investment in providing safe, comfortable and attractive routes.

Further studies into the travel choices of the over 50s, as part of the CycleBOOM study, echoed these findings, as does research that shows the need for cycle routes separated from both pedestrians and motor traffic.

Read the full case study here.

Find out more about our Sustainability and Climate Change Resilience research strength here.

Two-day Innovation and bid writing workshop

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Tues 21 & Wed 22 Sept, 09:00 – 16:30

Develop an innovative business idea and learn how to get funding for your project. This 2 day in-person course (based in Swindon, venue tbc) offered by the Innovation 4 Growth programme (I4G) is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and is free to SMEs, start-ups or small charities in the Swindon & Wiltshire region.

This course is aimed at ambitious businesses working on an innovation project. We are looking for SMEs that want to develop their innovative ideas, cultivate their narrative around the project and are working towards further funding and investment.

We are delivering this course while our Innovation 4 Growth grant funding is available and hope that some participants will use the workshop to create, or further progress their project idea to then successfully apply for an I4G grant.

Places are limited to 20 SMEs, and we welcome prestart as well as established businesses, the content will be relevant to all sizes of SME.

Register to book your place now.


As markets and conditions recover, investing in innovation is key to helping businesses future proof, grow their markets and adapt to opportunities. This intensive 2-day workshop is for SMEs that are responding to new opportunities and looking to disrupt the market through innovation.

You may already have a great idea that needs developing or you are looking for some headspace to figure it out. This comprehensive course helps you to define your proposition in terms of innovation; familiarise you with the funding landscape, develop your pitch and hone your bid writing skills.

What will you get from this course?

It is a practical workshop with plenty of discussion and interaction, with time allowed to develop your project as we work through each section.

This course is available to SMEs working towards an innovation project.

We will:

  • Introduce you to the fundamentals of bringing innovation into your business.
  • Give you essential innovation tools to help you generate creative ideas, as well as evaluate and test them for your business.
  • Improve your understanding of how innovation projects can be funded and how to write winning bids.
  • Provide you with the confidence, practical skills and techniques to pitch your idea.
  • Support your application for our Innovation 4 Growth grant fund and create a foundation for future applications.

As places are limited, we request that you commit to the full two-day programme. We expect participants to work in small collaborative groups and engage in peer-to-peer learning.

Is this course for you?

This course is designed to be relevant for SMEs or small charities that are developing innovative ideas and wish to turn these ideas into successful new products or services. We will help you to articulate your innovation projects and take them to the next stage.

This in-person course is funded by the ERDF and is free to SMEs in the Swindon & Wiltshire region. We have limited spaces as the sessions are designed to be interactive. Apply here stating your business, area of interest and why you should be selected for the programme.


Doors open at 9:00 for coffee and networking. Lunch will be provided at 12:30pm-13:30pm.

Tuesday 21 Sept – Day 1 :

  • 9:30 – 10:30: Intrapreneurship – creating an intrapreneurial mindset for growth with Shane Moore
  • 10:30 – 14:30 (including an hour break for lunch): Innovation and Ideation: how to solve your challenges with Aimee Skinner
  • 14:30 – 16:30: The Innovation Narrative: Pitching your idea with Lucy Paine

Wednesday 22 Sept – Day 2:

  • 9:30 – 12:30: Introduction to Funding & Investment with Mark Corderoy
  • 13:30 – 16:30: How to write an innovation funding bid with Alan Gould


Available for SMEs in the Swindon & Wiltshire LEP Region.
Places are limited to 20 SMEs. Get in touch if you have any questions

Click here to register your interest in this workshop.


This event is delivered by the Innovation 4 Growth programme and funded by the ERDF for the benefit of SMEs in the Swindon & Wiltshire Region. Your attendance at this event will count towards State Aid and by participating you are agreeing to ERDF business support and the accompanying documentation.

European Regional Development Fund:
The project will receive funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit here.

UWE Bristol Researchers work with National Allotment Society to share knowledge about water and drought

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A group of UWE Bristol researchers, Dr Neil Phillips, Dr Sarah Ayling and Professor Lindsey McEwen have been been working with the National Allotment Society (NAS) to promote water efficient behaviours and drought resilience on allotments.

Professor McEwen leads on the NERC DRY (Drought Risk and You) project which explores how droughts and water shortage can impact on the environment, agriculture, infrastructure, society and culture.

The DRY project was founded in April 2014, with the aim to develop an easy-to-use, evidence-based resource to inform decision-making for drought risk management in the UK. They draw together information from multiple perspectives on drought science, stakeholder engagement, citizen science and narrative storytelling to better understand drought risks, while other studies have focused on mathematical modelling of drought risk.  They gather data, stories and deliver events and provide workshops to support their mission.

During the DRY project they started to appreciate the potential of growers to act as harbingers of drought in their communities – being sensitive to available water for plants and hence periods without rainfall and to dry soils. They concluded that growers and allotment holders are therefore great potential contributors to ‘drought thinking’ in their communities, which is important in building local resilience to future drought and water scarcity.

As a result of this DRY and the National Allotment Society have co-produced a set of seven fliers that share knowledge about water and drought. These were launched by NAS in National Allotments Week 2021 (9-15 August).

The titles are:

Neil Phillips also took part in a webinar “Water Harvesting on Allotments, with Climate Change in mind” as part of the National Allotment Week , which was well attended by keen growers from across the country.

He said:  

“The presentation and subsequent discussion supported new thinking and debate around rainwater collection and use on allotments. Attendees expressed particular concerns over the use of sprinklers on some allotment sites (sprinklers can waste up to 90% of the mains water) and the likelihood of water companies increasing water charges in the near future. The importance of encouraging water efficient growing methods and considering local conditions was emphasized. The potential to extract water from other sources such as wells, rivers and lakes via solar-powered pumps was considered. There was considerable interest in optimised rainwater collection, storage and distribution structures as a novel solution with requests for detailed costings and evaluation via an onsite trial. “

University Enterprise Zone Spotlight: Future Space

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Future Space is one of four areas that make up UWE Bristol’s University Enterprise Zone. The below spotlight explains a bit about them:

Who we are

Future Space is an innovation centre, based on UWE Bristol‘s Frenchay campus, within the University Enterprise Zone. The centre offers a range of office space, laboratories, workshops, and coworking facilities designed specifically for high-tech, science-based entrepreneurs and innovators. Future Space is managed by Oxford Innovation, the UK’s largest operator of innovation centres, and manages a growing network of over 25 innovation centres in the UK.

A former head chef, a PhD in cancer genetics, and one of the region’s top 75 innovators; just some of the eclectic accolades of our Future Space Team. With a wealth of experience in business, and managing lab and workspace, we’re on hand to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

What we offer to business

There are many reasons why Future Space is a fantastic location for growing science and technology businesses: Purpose built laboratories; Customisable workshops; and a range of flexible offices and shared spaces. A distinct advantage is the positioning of the centre – on UWE Bristol campus and co-located with the Health Tech Hub and Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

We also have an onsite Innovation team to oversee all the business needs of our community and provide practical business support for our tech and life science residents. As well as running peer networks and 1:1 support, the team organises free expert advice for resident businesses, connects companies with the University, and designs and develops a varied support programme of workshops and Q&As.

An event held in the Hub Space of the University Enterprise Zone

How we work with UWE

Our Innovation team works closely with UWE Bristol to drive collaboration opportunities. If you are a small company in the early stages of development, it can be difficult to find the capacity to carry out all aspects of running the business as well as giving focus to building your product and services. The knowledge and expertise you have in-house is also likely to be limited. Universities can play a key role in helping SMEs grow, with access to skills training, student and graduate resource, academic expertise, and an abundance of practical advice.

Businesses based at Future Space have benefitted from more than 200 engagements with UWE Bristol, from the use of specialist equipment at the university, to funded business assist support through programmes such as the Health Technology Accelerator Programme and SABRE. This support has enabled companies to build new products and services, as well as giving access to valuable knowledge and technical expertise that is needed in the early stages of development.

You can read more in our recent article.

What’s new for 2021/2022

Student and graduate engagement with SMEs are a core focus in the centre, with residents offered fully funded UWE Bristol internships, as well as regular chances to pitch project briefs to degree and masters level students. This year we launched our new internship programme aimed at post-graduate students, as well as undergraduate students – more than 40 interns have been employed in the Future Space community over the years, and these internships bring in vital skills and talent to resident businesses. We will be developing this programme further in 2021/22.

This year, our team also got involved in UWE Bristol’s Digital Innovation Fund, delivering innovation training as part of the ‘Innovation & Bid-writing’ course, delivered to SMEs in the region. This was a great opportunity for SMEs and our Future Space community, and we are committed to working closely on future programmes.

Our strong affiliation with UWE Bristol brings a huge amount of opportunities for resident businesses, from student and graduate engagement, to innovation support, and funding opportunities. The impact of all of this work is seen in the great successes of our community, and you can read about some of these in our cases studies and blogs. We’re excited to see what’s next.

For further information about Future Space please contact

University Enterprise Zone Spotlight: The Health Tech Hub

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The Health Tech Hub is one of four areas that make up UWE Bristol’s University Enterprise Zone. The below spotlight explains about their purpose:

The Hub’s mission is to advance innovation in healthcare, to invigorate the growth of UK companies and to improve the quality of life for citizens. The Health Tech Hub team identify and create opportunities for businesses, universities and the healthcare sector to work together to solve the demanding problems faced by the healthcare sector in the UK and globally.

The Health Tech Hub is located in UWE Bristol’s University Enterprise Zone. Its founding partners are UWE Bristol, University of Bristol, Sirona Care and Health, P3 Medical Ltd, Designability and the West of England Academic Health Science Network.

Their skilled staff are well-placed to advance innovation, by supporting each company we work with to develop their technology solutions. In their purpose-built world-class laboratories, complete with the latest equipment; our dedicated team of experts are able to support companies with precision, utilising their accumulative experience across the industry, academia and healthcare sectors.

The projects undertaken in the Hub are hugely diverse, from developing a sensor for detecting Urinary Tract Infection, to running sophisticated spectral analysis of cells undergoing stress. Other projects included characterising novel biocompatible materials and integrating electronic systems into assistive technologies such as a “Smart” walking stick for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The real asset of the Hub is the creativity, enthusiasm and knowledge of the staff. The practical support shown at all levels has been second to none. Using the facilities has been very useful in terms of gaining access to professional and state of the art lab and workshop facilities to conduct initial tests and experiments in a highly sensitive and controlled environment. As a start up SME with limited capabilities, such resources are invaluable for us to be able conduct high quality and competitive R&D to develop our ideas further.

Habib Patel, Founder of Fullfat Technologies |, based within the Health Tech Hub

For more information about the Health Tech Hub go to their website. The University Enterprise Zone is made up of the Health Tech Hub, Future Space, Launch Space and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership Case Study: Powerline Technologies

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The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve competitiveness and productivity. A recent graduate is placed within an organisation to help solve a business problem, with access to our academic expertise.

The below case study is from our KTP with Powerline Technologies:

About Powerline Technologies 

Powerline Technologies (PLT) part of Fundamentals Ltd (power systems technology specialists), is delivering next generation Smart Grid Low Voltage (LV) and Medium Voltage (MV) distribution automation solutions to utilities and distribution System / Network Operators (DSO/DNO) worldwide.

Underground cables (UG) are used in locations such as urban areas where overhead lines rights of way is not available, in areas where local or state regulations override economic considerations, near airports, city centres and other locations where an overhead line may endanger lives, and in scenic areas where appearance is an important consideration.

Installing underground lines can cost 7-10 times more than overhead lines. Underground cables are buried at a depth of 450mm to 1200mm depending on the working voltage level. For example, 415 V (450mm) 11 kV (900mm) and 33kV (1200mm).

If a fault occurs in the UG cables, excavation of the exact fault location is of paramount importance in terms of time, cost and customer satisfaction, etc. Also if the outage duration is longer than a certain period the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) is obliged to pay out compensation to customers.

In the United Kingdom, there are 15 distribution network operator (DNO) regions. The 14 different district networks are managed by six operators, while one operator controls the distribution network in Northern Ireland (Figure below). The length of UG cable used by distribution companies depends on the coverage area of the DNO.

Determination of the exact fault location depends on accurate models of the cable and its associated arc. This project investigated both models mathematically for Powerline Technologies. These models will enable the PLT’s machine learning algorithm to pinpoint the fault location for direct and immediate dispatch of repair crews to the location. It will also minimise multiple excavations, cable cutting and ground re-instatement.

The challenge the KTP was set up to address

Powerline Technologies (PLT) has developed a Low Voltage (LV) three core cable simulation model. The challenge now was to onward develop four core cable model and the arc model to increase its simulation accuracy.

1) Solid Aluminium Conductor 2) XLPE Insulation 3) Rubber Layer 4) Waveform Copper Wire Earth 5) PVC Sheath

Why KTP was the right mechanism to achieve this?

Powerline technologies’ AI-based underground cable fault diagnostic and location equipment relies on an accurate digital model of the LV network to produce data to train the AI algorithms. This KTP enabled PLT to embed the developed cable model into the machine learning fault algorithm module.

What changed as a result of the KTP?

The KTP’s focus was to improve two key aspects of underground cable model:

  • The four-core MATLAB cable model with its associated parameters for integration into PLT’s existing MATLAB network model.
  • Improved arc fault models and their integration with the designed four-core cable model to more realistically represent the fault process within distribution network underground cables.

Outcome – Impacts & Benefits

For Powerline Technologies:
  • The four-core MATLAB cable model with its associated parameters for integration into PLT’s existing MATLAB network model could be scaled up and validated.
  • Widened understanding of suitability of various arc models in particular events.

“In addition to the modelling improvements, the KTP project showed how a collaboration between UWE and a research focused technology SME could increase the latter’s knowledge and understanding of a challenging problem.”

Dr Simon Le Blond, Power System Specialist, PLT

For UWE Bristol
  • Have further experience of data analysis and field measurement validation
  • Gained knowledge how to train the AI algorithms for fault diagnostic and location

“Able to take gained knowledge from the KTP project to the classroom for the students. A seminar group has been taught, one of the benefits from the KTP.”

Dr Hassan Nouri, Reader FET Engineering,Design & Mathematics,UWE Bristol

For the KTP Associate:
The KTP Associate Dr Le Trang

The KTP Associate has gained new knowledge in training and accessing the simulation software programmes and experience in handling the field measurement data.

“The KTP gave me the opportunities in skill training such as project management, team working, etc. These skills have not only helped me in managing the current project, but also support me in future career. In my role as an associate, I expanded my knowledge in solid technical and soft skills. I received a lot of support and valuable comments from a KTP adviser, academic and company supervisors”

Dr Le Trang, KTP Associate,UWE Bristol/PLT

View the full case study below:

To find out more about a KTP with UWE Bristol, please see here.