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EPSRC all IRC conference

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On the 28 and 29 June 2017, the three EPSRC funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) came together in Bath for the Future of Healthcare Technology conference.

As the first of its kind, the conference focused on the latest developments in healthcare technologies, central to the core theme of each research group.

The three IRCs (i-sense, Sphere, and Proteus) bring together:

  • 11 leading UK universities
  • £30M in funding from EPSRC
  • 200+ academics

As programs of internationally-acknowledges scientific and technological excellence, these IRCs have sufficient critical mass to make a real impact in areas of key future industrial relevance to the UK.

Broadly speaking, the programs aim to improve many aspects of healthcare, including:

  • home monitoring
  • rapid and accurate disease diagnosis
  • monitoring the spread of disease on a large scale through the development of novel technologies

Outcomes from the conference

It was great to learn about what the other IRCs were working on and their methods. It opened up some potential collaboration opportunities too.”

- Izzy Bennett, PhD Student, i-sense, UCL

"The conference provided a great insight into the work of Proteus and Sphere, with all three groups delivering interesting talks from both a scientific view and as demonstrations of how well interdisciplinary research can work. As a student it was inspiring to hear the value each of the IRCs puts on the development of early career researchers."

- Hannah Swinburne, PhD student, i-sense, Newcastle University ​ 

“The all IRC conference was one of the best networking opportunities and a motivating conference for people who care about healthcare and disease diagnostic, and for those who are keen to find the next generation solutions." 

- Ye Wang, PhD Student, i-sense, Imperial College London

“It was interesting to realise how closely related our research was, despite looking seemingly different at first glance. This was particularly true with i-sense and Proteus.”

– Dr Valerian Turbe, Postdoctoral Research Associate, i-sense, UCL

“The all IRC conference provided the ideal setting to engage with colleagues from within and across IRCs and the amazing work they are doing in healthcare research. I hope it can be repeated in future.”

- Dr Adriana Goncalves, Postdoctoral Research Associate, i-sense, ISHTM

“Two things struck me; the first was the amazing progress that all three EPSRC funded IRCs have made over the last four years, and the second was the wealth of talented young researchers we have attracted to be part of these IRCs. I felt quite uplifted after two days of exciting presentations and discussions.”

- Professor Vince Emery, Deputy Director i-sense and Senior Vice-President (Global) University of Surrey

"I am very grateful for the opportunity I had to help in the organisation of the EPSRC all IRC conference. It has been a professionally rewarding experience with lots of opportunities to hear presentations and meet with top researchers that could possibly lead to collaborations in the future."

- Evdokia Pilavaki, PhD student, i-sense, UCL

"When I heard there was a conference planned that was merging all three IRCs, I must admit I was little sceptical of the benefits due to the diversity of the research themes… I was wrong.  It was fascinating to hear the excellent progress being made by the other IRCs and to see how they coordinate such interdisciplinary research. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and motivating conference, I hope we can plan another event in the future."

- Dr Chris Johnson, Postdoctoral Research Associate, i-sense, Newcastle University 

“It was great that despite coming from all different subject backgrounds and universities we were able to come together to organise a conference that highlighted all the progress we’ve made towards creating the next generation of healthcare technologies. It was especially interesting finding out about all the amazing work being undertaken in the other IRC groups and seeing how this all ties into the EPSRC framework. I think that the event created space for future consultation or collaboration with the IRC groups. It was also nice to showcase some of the outputs from the i-sense projects and provided the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come.”

 - Candice Keane, PhD Student, i-sense UCL

“I was impressed by the organisation of the all IRC conference and the presentations from the different IRC projects; there was a lot of great work discussed in the two days. The conference demonstrated how well interdisciplinary teams can work together and it was encouraging to see the progress these diverse projects are making towards the future of healthcare.”

- Julia Spoors, Research Technician, i-sense, Newcastle University

Which academic partners do these programs involve?

i-sense partners include:

  • University College London
  • Imperial College London
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Surrey

Proteus partners include:

  • University of Edinburgh
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Bath

Sphere partners include:

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Reading
  • University of Southampton