Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Presentation of "Centre of Creative Technology"

Last year, the research strategy of Leeds Metropolitan University, as set out by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sheila Scraton, had called for the creation of "Centres" for various research topics. The goal of these centres would be to increase the research profile of Leeds Met, to give the research activities a branding, and to foster collaboration between researchers, also across faculty boundaries. These research centres would be organised around the research interests and activities of the professors. Our faculty dean Cath Orange had then encouraged us professors at "Innovation North" (INN) to organise these centres.
Since Prof. William Latham and myself are "Professors of Creative Technology", it was natural to organise a "Centre for Creative Technology". The focus of this centre would be on all types of creative technology, including video, graphics, games, audio, music. It would include software development as well as creative practise. We invited staff members of INN to join this center and to keep their research activities going under this new umbrella. One of our first external actions was to contact game companies in the Yorkshire region, to establish relations for possible collaborations. We planned to give an introductory presentation to INN staff in the context of the weekly Wednesday afternoon staff development sessions.

However, William has accepted a position at Goldsmith College in London and will be involved with the centre as "Visiting Professor" at Leeds Met.

So I gave the main talk, and I also had invited other researchers from this centre to give an overview about their work: Ben Dalton spoke about his work on visual and acoustic tracking, Richard Stevens presented the "Repossessed" project, Nikos Stavropoulos spoke about the Echochroma 1 concert, and Duncan Folley talked about our new motion capture system. These presentations were very well received by staff. Unfortunately, our "centre presentation" had started later than planned, due to another topic that needed to be discussed at this Wednesday afternoon session.

The centre still needs a while until it can be considered as working functionally: research clusters need to be established, and a regular meeting schedule needs to be set up. Then an official launch will be organised, to mark the official inauguration of this centre.