Innovation

CreativeUEA

What creative skills are needed in the future, and how can UEA and higher education prepare its students and staff for leisure and business in the century ahead? 

CreativeUEA sees innovation in design, technology, science and industry as forms of creativity. CreativeUEA leads, supports and sustains many partnerships that establish innovative ways of working, particularly around research and technology. 

Our researchers and partners collaborate to reframe and reconceptualise existing ways of thinking, doing and being. Their activity brings new ideas and products into the world, but also novel ways of working in new organisational structures for institutions and businesses. 

UEA joins five more world-leading partners and 150 science and technology companies in membership of the Norwich Research Park, which also includes Earlham Institute (EI), Quadram Institute (QI), John Innes Centre (JIC), Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL). As a concentration of globally renowned expertise, Norwich Research Park is uniquely placed to address 21st century challenges and help make a better future.

Innovative cultural partnerships for our communities and region

New Anglia logoSince 2020, so many of our cultural organisations have found exciting new audiences, sometimes international, sometimes hard to reach groups, and many who are happy to have found new creative engagement.

Joining cultural innovators and leaders in our region, UEA is a member of the recently established New Anglia Culture Board. The Board’s Chair, Helen Wilson, describes their remit: ‘The creative and cultural offer in Norfolk and Suffolk is what makes this region different, special, and distinctive. One of the compensations of the last few months has been the discovery of the power of our digital offer.’

The National Centre for Writing has seen great growth in participation in its digital programmes, and many of the treasures in Norfolk museums can now be enjoyed round the world.

These trends will undoubtedly change the way we work. No one wants to lose these exciting new audiences and the future will be one which includes digital performance and a digital offer.

Innovative cultural partnerships for our communities and region

Since 2020, so many of our cultural organisations have found exciting new audiences, sometimes international, sometimes hard to reach groups, and many who are happy to have found new creative engagement. 

Joining cultural innovators and leaders in our region, UEA is a member of the recently established New Anglia Culture Board. The Board’s Chair, Helen Wilson, describes their remit: ‘The creative and cultural offer in Norfolk and Suffolk is what makes this region different, special, and distinctive. One of the compensations of the last few months has been the discovery of the power of our digital offer.’

The National Centre for Writing has seen great growth in participation in its digital programmes, and many of the treasures in Norfolk museums can now be enjoyed round the world.

These trends will undoubtedly change the way we work. No one wants to lose these exciting new audiences and the future will be one which includes digital performance and a digital offer.

Innovating in virtual worlds

Through virtualisation, UEA will innovate in its research and how we share it. We will investigate uses of Virtual Reality (VR), and the experiences it shapes for us in education, health, science and the arts and humanities.

VR increasingly enters our homes and workplaces in gaming and in simulations. It has so many applications from surgeons understanding the molecular structure of a body to creating a virtual campus for visitors joining our online UEA open days. Engineering students can work on rapid prototyping using digital technology without having to build material models. They can run new car designs through simulations and speed up any process.

In partnership with leading-edge VR experts like Immersive Studios, East Anglia can have an exciting future at the heart of virtualisation, and help the industry to grow.

Psychology students in virtual reality suite

Innovative making - 3D printing for medicine and more

UEA has already transformed ideas into reality at the most fundamental level. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we used 3D printing to create ventilators, 
face visors, ventilator parts and other medical aids.

Professor Aram Saeed, in the School of Pharmacy, and Professor Ben Garrod, in the School of Biological Sciences, mobilised a UEA team that joined forces with many local groups including Sync Norwich, Hot Source, Norfolk Developers, Norfolk Network and TechEast – forming the network of software skills and design expertise needed to make these crucial items.

Looking ahead, researchers in the Norwich Business School recently predicted future trends and perspectives on 3D printing for biopharmaceutical manufacture and research. 

Our School of Computing uses 3D printing to generate 3D physical models, for use in applications such as surgical planning. They are also creating 3D replicas of delicate cultural heritage artefacts, including intricate Cantonese chess pieces.

3D printing face coverings visors in UEA lab

Innovations in Artificial Intelligence

Our research looks beyond human understanding to the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to augment and even replace human problem-solving, tasks and activities across a range of industrial, intellectual and social applications.

UEA researchers are at the forefront of this rapidly developing field. Norwich Business School leads the way with insights into the impacts, challenges and opportunities of AI. They have also set an ambitious AI research agenda for business and management, government, the public sector and science and technology.

An exciting collaboration between Norwich Medical School and the School of Computing is investigating the role of AI in everyday settings, and its potential benefits in domestic care. Their work will develop kitchens designed to make the everyday task of preparing food safer for people with dementia. Our researchers call this design the ‘Dementia Assistive Smart Kitchen’, an innovation bringing help and comfort to many through the creative application of technology.

Norwich Electronic Assistive Technology suite