UWE Bristol Success within Horizon Europe

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Whilst the delay to the UK’s Association to the Horizon Europe continues, UK-based applicants can still apply for funding as a consortium partner. The UK government has confirmed successful Horizon Europe applicants will receive funding from UKRI regardless of the outcome of the UK’s efforts to associate with Horizon Europe. This applies to all Horizon Europe competitions with a final deadline date on or before 31 December 2022, where the delay to UK association to the programme may prevent them from signing grant agreements.

In the interim, nearly 600 UK recipients have been granted Horizon Europe Guarantee funding, worth a total of £343 million in programmes relating to all three pillars of the Horizon Europe R&I programme.

Within the 2021-2022 Work Programme, UWE Bristol have received £2.4M of funding on a range of topics including governance models, robotics, machine learning, mobility, and biotechnology. Below is a summary of some of our Horizon Europe projects.

GREENGAGE (3 year, £4.2M Innovation Action)

UWE Bristol Staff: Zaheer Khan, David Ludlow

GREENGAGE’s vision is to promote innovative governance and help public authorities in shaping their climate mitigation and adaptation policies by engaging with citizens to develop 4 Citizen Observatories (CO) in Bristol, Copenhagen (Denmark), Turano-Gerace (Italy) and North-Brabant (The Netherlands). The COs focus on mobility, air quality, healthy living and support the delivery of carbon neutral neighbourhoods, rural depopulation and infrastructure and investment optimisation. Earth-observation and in-situ data will be combined with data from COs to gain new insights and support policy making and decision making processes. Bristol’s CO (in partnership with Bristol City Council and Knowle West Media Centre) will focus on the development of the city’s first Liveable Neighbourhood scheme in partnership with the local community. Using co-design, the local community will be engaged in the scheme from inception, encouraging participation from historically underrepresented groups.

UWE Bristol’s main roles in this project include stakeholder engagement and requirements analysis, co-designing pro-environmental use cases, developing pathways to adoption of a smart urban governance model and evaluation design.

BioMeld (4 year, £3.9M Research and Innovation Action)

UWE Bristol Staff: Andrew Adamatzky, Michail-Antisthenis Tsompanas, Larry Bull

Bio-hybrid machines (BHMs) combine living cell actuators with artificial materials to achieve greater autonomy, flexibility, and energy efficiency compared to standard robots. However, BHMs are developed in silos of individual research groups, making their development more of an art relying on individual knowledge, intuition, and skills than on standardized decision-making processes. To push the manufacturing of BHMs towards bio-intelligent paradigm and model-based engineering, BioMeld (A Modular Framework for Designing and Producing Biohybrid Machines) proposes to develop a self-monitoring and self-controlling manufacturing pipeline of BHMs.

UWE Bristol’s tasks will involve creations of BHMs morphologies in the soft-body physics engine Voxelyze. As these morphologies evolve, their performances will be evaluated and encoded by a Compositional Pattern Producing Network, implementing mutation, evolution and selection with machine-learning-based optimization. Two deep neural networks (DNN) will be implemented, and their suitability will be evaluated.

SOTERIA (4 year, £3.7M Research and Innovation Action)

UWE Bristol Staff: Colin Booth

The emergence of complex urban mobility environments where interactions between different types of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) and with motorised vehicles poses the need for a clear understanding of user behaviours, as well as appropriate urban safety action plans and assessments, supporting the achievement of the EU’s ‘Vision Zero’ for zero fatalities in road transport by 2050.

SOTERIA (Systematic and orchestrated deployment of safety solutions in complex urban environments for ageing and vulnerable societies) will supply a holistic framework of innovative models, tools and services enabling data driven urban safety intelligence, facilitating safe travelling of VRUs and fostering the safe integration of micro-mobility services in complex environments. At the operational level SOTERIA uncovers unexplored behavioural characteristics of VRUs and engages Living Lab communities in social innovation activities for the co-creation of urban safety solutions and infrastructure designs.

UWE Bristol leads WP1 (Protection principles and solutions design) and is responsible for the living labs setup, the organization of the stakeholders’ co-creation activities, and the VRUs behavioural analysis and mobility needs definition. A method based on the quadruple helix of stakeholders’ engagement will be applied in the living labs, engaging residents in 8 cities across several European countries, addressing different types of VRUs including people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.

For further information about these projects, or guidance on Horizon Europe and our eligibility, please reach out to Kate Trigg, Research and Knowledge Exchange Development Manager.

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