Coming This Year... Coming This Year...

These are the confirmed projects for our upcoming i-Teams. More to come.

If any of these take your fancy or you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in contact with us. Our email is And if you are tempted to apply, click on "Join an i-Team" and fill out the form as best you can.


Technology Projects

  • Microplastic Detection 

A new approach, to assess and count the number of microplastics in a range of sample matrices, from bottled water to sediments, has been demonstrated through research led by Dr Andrew Mayes at the University of East Anglia. 

This new method (Niles Red method) is faster than currently accepted approaches, as well as cheaper.

There are several commercial opportunities to explore with this project: running an analytical service for microplastic measurements out of UEA, development and production of the imaging instruments, development of integrated software and setting up an IP or trademarking of the integrated solution.

  • Detection of plant parasitic nematodes

This project centres on a new way to detect parasitic nematodes in soil using an experimental pipeline. Nematodes are a free-living organisms in terrestrial and aquatic environments or parasites for plants and animals. There are 15000 species that inhabit diverse environments. Many different species of nematodes can be important to crop production and a wide range of plant parasitic nematodes is present in any given field. Chemical soil sterilisation and other pesticides to control nematodes are still common practice.

The team at UEA/EI have developed a pipeline, RevMet. The unique point of this platform is the use of bioinformatics tools to accurately and quickly identify nematode species within whole communities of nematodes from complex environmental samples.

The advantage of this approach as opposed to other methods of nematode detection is that it enables the assessment of an entire nematode community, it is semi-quantitative, low cost, portable, and eliminates the need for a bioinformatician to analyse and interpret the results. 

The i-Team could help to design a strategy for commercialisation, define potential clients and the business model for software commercialisation, as well as work out how to explain the idea to non-specialists.

  • Gamification of the Workforce

Professor Andrew Fearne and PhD student Konrad Maliszewski’s have been researching small food producers, management of local food by supermarkets and the role of third parties in supporting small food producers. This research led to a project called Shop Norfolk where a loyalty scheme was trialled amongst smaller, independent retailers (report to be circulated to students and mentor ahead of launch). These stores are often the ‘hub’ of the local community (particularly in isolated and rural areas).  Although, for some small local stores, the scheme was successful, a lack of engagement from employees was identified as a major barrier to the success of the scheme in other participating stores. In order for shops to benefit from such a scheme, the inventors would like to identify ways of motivating staff not only in participation of such schemes but also in their day to day tasks in store to increase productivity and, in turn, profitability. The idea of creating an app or other use of technology that could be used to encourage staff to complete jobs and engage with their workplace more needs to be explored further.


The i-Team would investigate retailers that already use gamification, how it is used to motivate a workforce, whether other retailers would like to use gamification and what features they would like to see.

Heritage Projects

  • Animating the Literary Archive with The British Archive for Contemporary Writing

The main aim of this project would be to produce a plan for how some of the BACW’s most exciting holdings could be presented as an engaging and interactive digital exhibition piece, with the intention being that users would be able to explore the creative process of well-known authors including Tash Aw, Naomi Alderman, Adam Foulds, Doris Lessing and Sara Taylor.

They would like recommendations for a public interface such as a curated encounter, or a guided storying of material exploring the working practices of one or more of these authors. Such an interface might allow somebody to walk through the development of a literary work from first ideas, research notes, diagrams, character lists, on to rough drafts, edits and revisions, right up to the finished work itself.

The aim would be to then present these recommendations as a project brief to a local digital technologist who would build the proposed interface for exhibition alongside other events and exhibitions taking place in and around Norwich across the academic year 2020/21 as a part of the Creative Writing 50th celebrations.

  • Digital Ted with Water, Mills & Marshes / Broads Authority

Digital Ted aims to digitise and make accessible a handful of famed Norfolk naturalist Ted Ellis’ journals held by his family. These journals represent a unique insight into the landscape at Wheatfen near Surlingham and contain detailed scientific information on the unique species of the Broads, including insects, mycology, birds, etc. as well as documenting the decline of the ecosystem from the 1940’s to the 1980’s.

This project has recently uncovered a trove of Ted’s other journals, diaries, notebooks, drawings and more located in the Norwich Castle Study Centre at Shirehall. Combined with the holdings of the Ted Ellis Trust at Wheatfen and the family’s collection, there is an opportunity to go beyond simply digitising and displaying this information on a simple website.

The project wants to use this rare and wonderful collection to engage and inspire the next generation of people to understand and care for the Broads landscape, while making this material open and accessible to the public, especially those of a younger generation who do not remember or never learned about Ted. There are several potential avenues to explore including Ted’s artwork, his creation of a sense of place at Wheatfen, and the biology/ecology aspects of his detailed notes. There are probably other undiscovered treasures which have remained unseen since 1986 tucked away in these archives which the project hopes to suss out soon.