High-tech research centre opens at Nottingham Trent University

Last updated on: June 6, 2016, Author: R Sahota

Nottingham Trent University’s new Future Factory Research and Consultancy Centre officially opened on Tuesday 19 April 2016. The centre has been opened following a quarter of a million pound refurbishment and will work with businesses and organisations on collaborative projects around smart design, manufacturing and innovative technologies.

The university is already working in partnership with major organisations such as the multinational food and drink company, PepsiCo, and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, and is looking forward to working with many more businesses in the future.

Chris Davison, business development manager for the College of Art, Design and the Built Environment, said: “A lot of this is world-class research and it’s going on in Nottingham. Research is nice but unless it helps to change the world, save lives or transform the planet, it’s not important enough. The idea with collaborative research is there’s a far greater chance it will make an impact and be used for real things rather than sitting on a shelf gathering dust.”

In the factory, robotic arms are being used in a confidential project with PepsiCo.

One of the latest additions to the factory is a Cyberith Virtualiser, a harness that links to a virtual reality headset with a 360-degree sphere of vision.  It is usually used for games but Radcliffe-on-Trent-based research and development firm VR-Med is collaborating with the university to create a virtual reality platform that can be used to train medics.

Luke Siena, a PhD student and casual research assistant in the design for health and wellbeing research group, added: “One of the possible outputs is if someone is in an operating theatre in an emergency situation where the patient is on their death bed.

“If you’re a trainee surgeon or doctor who has never been in that environment before you don’t know how you’re going to cope with the situation. So our platform would help you to move around the operating theatre, learn where everything is and interact with the patient so you’re less stressed when you find yourself in that situation.”

A series of interactive sessions will explore topics such as smart technologies and materials including the development of sustainable products, systems and buildings and renewable energy systems.

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