The idea of establishing research centres at Leeds Met has been circulated since sometime in spring of 2006. These centres are supposed to coordinate research activities, and at a meeting in April 2006, our Dean Cath Orange said she would be very disappointed if we would not have a "Centre of Creative Technology". So it was up to me and my colleague Prof. William Latham to get together and decide on the establishing of such a centre.
The goal of a centre is to foster research, to stimulate collaborations, and to work on obtaining funding for those activities. At our faculty Innovation North we already have many researchers working on a large variety of topics, in computing, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction technology, computer graphics, computer music, and other areas. So what could the establishment of a center improve? Well, one of the issues is to streamline the research activities, to create a coherent picture of the research topics and bundle them together so that they can be pursued within larger project frameworks. In the current research situation, most of the researchers have been working as individuals. There have been some remarkable group activities, but that was the exception.
With this centre, we plan to encourage researchers to exchange ideas and work together on larger-scale projects. Let's hope that this works out fine.
After Prof. William Latham left Leeds Met for another position (at Goldsmith College, London), he still remained connected to Leeds Met as a Visiting Professor. But now it is up to me to complete the centre, and I will serve in it as Director.
For next Monday, 9. July, we have organised an evening event to celebrate the launch of the centre. The program is currently online at creativetech.inn.leedsmet.ac.uk - but this site is destined to host the web site of the center. Here is a preview of the site - things on the site are still pretty much in development, but hopefully will be final by next Monday.