Our plans

Our primary aims 

  1. Drive problem understanding
  2. Identify new research challenges
  3. Co-ordinate, inspire and support underpinning research leading to the development of technologies and services that harness advances in design, digital manufacturing and data analysis techniques
  4. Co-create novel, innovative solutions

Our objectives 

  1. To map the innovation landscape, including analysis of barriers and drivers, case studies of success and EPSRC portfolio mapping.
  2. To develop and sustain the TIDAL community, driving best practice in inclusive network design wherever possible
  3. To initiate small research projects and industry exchanges in community-agreed focus areas, focusing in the first instance on responsible engineering, sensors and data science, and digital manufacturing.
  4. To disseminate the results of the network activities and develop a sustainable plan for TIDAL beyond the end of the network

What we will do

Over the next 3 years, to achieve these objectives, we will:

  1. Create a transdisciplinary network capable of generating novel design, engineering and technological advances that will empower disabled people, older people, their families and carers through accessible and local solutions. 
  2. Support users in their communities, enabling a step change in the viability and affordability of inclusive and empowering assisted living that levels the playing field socially and economically for disabled people, older people, their families and carers. 
  3. Will initiate advances in design, data science and manufacturing whilst continually strengthening the knowledge base on research translation and supporting to the next generation of interdisciplinary EPSRC researchers. 

We will focus on:

TIDAL N+ Mapping

Guided by our consultations with partners we will carry out a series of short focused projects. The first two will focus on the regulatory landscape for AT post-Brexit and will review successful translation of EPSRC-funded research into AT products and services. Three further short projects, focused on key barriers and enablers will be developed by the Network.

TIDAL N+ community development

This workstream will establish the Network and maintain inclusive engagement. A major activity will be running an Annual Symposium and Doctoral Colloquium, with the first focussed on Responsible Engineering.

TIDAL N+ Research

Guided by initial consultations with partners we will begin the Network+ with three research themes:

  1. Responsible Engineering
  2. Sensors and Data Science for Communication Aids
  3. Digital Design & Manufacturing Systems (DMS) & Physical Devices. 

An additional theme will be added as TIDAL N+ grows.

We will fund up to eight research projects (aiming for 2 per theme) up to £65k each for interdisciplinary teams who have an excellent research hypothesis for solving a clear unmet need. There will be three steps to developing and selecting the projects for each funding call: 

  1. an agenda setting workshop 
  2. a team building workshop (similar to a mini sandpit)
  3. review and select proposals for funding 

All research projects will have an industry mentor and we will also support industry placements of up to 2 months for academics, and encourage industry-funded placements into academia. 

Network Education and Dissemination

The TIDAL N+ project is led by Prof Cathy Holloway, who co-leads the £19.8million AT2030 Programme (www.at2030.org) and the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) Academic Research Centre. These initiatives have excellent networks for communication and dissemination. TIDAL will take advantage of these to engage different audiences and disseminate the work of the Network. Activities will include the development of policy notes based on the work in the other workstreams, engagement with local innovators, colleges and schools through hackathons, and GDI Hub Live events themed to TIDAL N+.