CSCT-led event invites Bath researchers to respond to COVID-19 outbreak in multidisciplinary virtual sandpit
The initiative aims to provide University of Bath academics with an opportunity to contribute to the pandemic short-, mid- and long-term response by joining skills across disciplines.
A virtual sandpit aimed at creating innovative interdisciplinary research to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic, led by the Centre for Sustainable and Circular Technologies (CSCT), will take place over a series of online meetings held in April and May.
In response to a widespread urge to take action in the context of the current Coronavirus outbreak, a CSCT team, led by Professors Matthew Davidson and Chick Wilson, decided to address this issue and offer Bath academics a way to help. Working together with Knowinnovation, a provider specialised in facilitating innovative, creative and cross-disciplinary collaboration, a plan has been drafted to enable academics to participate in the creation of new research ideas that will encompass various disciplines and be translated in research proposals.
“Since the end of March 2020, as the UK started to roll out social distancing measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus, large portions of the scientific community – including those whose area of expertise is not explicitly healthcare-related – have been feeling restless at home”, says Matthew Davidson. “We would like to offer an opportunity for the University’s research community to come together to generate research questions to meet the various challenges that this outbreak presents.”
Focussing on overlapping themes of the Circular Economy and Therapeutic Innovation, this virtual sandpit is open to all Bath academics eligible to apply for grant funding as a Principal or Co-investigator.
Using creative thinking techniques and an online platform, a series of virtual meetings and events will be held between 27 April and 18 May, where participants will self-organise into interdisciplinary research teams to generate, develop and refine ideas to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that can lead to in successful grant applications to UKRI and other funders.
“Our goal is to gather a group of curious, open-minded researchers coming from a broad range of disciplines, with different skills and experience that loosely relate to the two themes. Now, more than ever, we need to put our combined skills to work to make a worthwhile contribution to the world” – says Chick Wilson.