{{phone.Value}}

1000+

successful admissions

94%

of students enter the university of their choice

4400+

students consult Education Index when applying for universites

  • 943

Top 10 Interesting Inventions from British Universities This Year

UK universities have always been known for their research capabilities. In fact in most fields British universities are the best researchers in the world. To this end, a survey commissioned for the annual event, which is run by Universities UK with Research Councils UK, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, asked the general public about the issues that they want university research to address.

Thirty per cent said they wanted improved wellbeing in old age. Just under half wanted better treatments for the UK’s most deadly diseases; a quarter wanted technology that would improve people’s quality of life; and a third said they cared about living in cities that are safe, enjoyable places.

Below are the shortlisted projects!

1. Real time cancer care

Galina Velikova, University of Leeds

The research, called eRAPID, will evaluate a new system for patients to report the symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment via the internet. A patient’s reports about how they are feeling are immediately displayed in electronic hospital records, so clinicians can use them to improve and streamline care.

The aim is to improve the safe delivery of treatment, enhance patient experience and standardise the documentation of symptoms and side effects. The research will take place in Leeds, Bristol and Manchester with patients receiving chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

2. Light activated sun cream

Charareh Pourzand and Ian Eggleston, University of Bath

While many sun creams provide good protection against the sun’s UVB rays, they provide less protection against more prevalent and cancer causing UVA rays. Researchers have created an innovative ingredient which when applied in a sun cream can act as a UVA filter and provide fuller protection against skin damage. The new compounds are light activated when exposed to relevant doses of UVA, and unique in how they release anti-oxidants to neutralise free radicals whilst at the same time capturing excess iron in the skin.

“We are very excited to play a part in this pioneering research that could lead to a new generation of sunscreens,” said Hermione Lawson, from the British Skin Foundation.

3. The tales of our texts

Victoria Mapplebeck, Royal Holloway, University of London

Mobile phone users will be able to bring to life their archived text messages using the Text Me project, which allows people to explore the multitude of stories hidden in their phones and turn them into short animated films.

Contributors will send in a text message that marked the start or end of a personal drama that changed their life, which researchers will use to develop the web-based interactive app. The final Text Me website, which will be available later this year, will feature editing software which contributors can use to create their own film out of a text message or thread.

4. Sustainable solar batteries and solar clothing

Alison Walker, University of Bath

Traditional solar panels are efficient, but they are often made from toxic or rare materials and their manufacture can harm the environment. The study is developing new materials for solar cells to make them cheaper, more efficient and more environmentally sustainable.

These new solar cells will produce energy even on cloudy days, making them suitable for the UK climate. The research also looks at novel types of solar cells, including semi-transparent ones that could be used on windows and lightweight and flexible cells that could be used on clothing to charge your mobile phone.

5. Seeing with sound

Michael Proulx, University of Bath

Psychologists at the University of Bath are using a computer device to help blind people “see” through sound. The team is studying how the so-called vOICe, a device which creates a scale of tonal notes of an object’s height and width, could be used by blind people to provide navigational reference points. Dr Proulx is collaborating with computer scientists at Queen Mary University of London and Goldsmiths, University of London.

6. “Friendly robots” changing young lives

Tony Belpaeme and Angelo Cangelosi, Plymouth University

Robots and robotics software can transform the lives of people they come into contact with, and our understanding of cognitive and neural systems. Researchers are examining the possibilities of developing a robot capable of acting as a companion to a child in hospital for the duration of their stay.

Plymouth’s research into the potential of friendly robots’ was identified as one of the top life-changing ideas under research at UK universities, in a 2011 list produced by Research Councils UK and Universities UK.

7. Magic carpet

Krikor Ozanyan, University of Manchester

The “magic carpet” can immediately detect when someone has fallen over and can help to predict mobility problems. Falling is the most serious and frequent accident in the home and accounts for 50 per cent of hospital admissions in the over 65s.

A carpet that can show a steady deterioration or change in walking habits could possibly predict and prevent dramatic episodes such as a fall.

The research demonstrated that plastic optical fibres, laid on the underlay of a carpet, bend when anyone treads on it and map, in real-time, their walking patterns. Tiny electronics at the edges act as sensors and relay signals to a computer, which can then be analysed to show the image of the footprint and identify gradual changes in walking behaviour or a sudden incident such as a fall or trip.

8. Battery brain test for Alzheimer’s

Richard Jagger, University of Bolton

The research aims to detect Alzheimer’s disease before any symptoms become apparent, and uses electroencephalogram (EEG) testing as an early diagnosis tool for the degenerative brain illness. The test will see if there is a difference in brain activity between those with the early stages of Alzheimer’s and those ageing normally.

9. Training for success

Emanuele Giovannetti, Anglia Ruskin University; Claudio Piga, University of Keele

This study looks into firms’ innovation activities such as staff training to assess whether, and how, investments in innovation activities not only affect the outcomes of the investing firm (the internal effects), but also generate “knowledge spill overs” affecting the innovation performance of other firms in the economic system (the external effects).

10. The tales of our texts

Victoria Mapplebeck, Royal Holloway, University of London

Mobile phone users will be able to bring to life their archived text messages using the Text Me project, which allows people to explore the multitude of stories hidden in their phones and turn them into short animated films.

Contributors will send in a text message that marked the start or end of a personal drama that changed their life, which researchers will use to develop the web-based interactive app. The final Text Me website, which will be available later this year, will feature editing software which contributors can use to create their own film out of a text message or thread.

We hope you enjoyed the inspirational list. Many UK universities have research-led teaching meaning that many students also take part in groundbreaking research.

Source: Chris Parr, Times Higher Education