The applied research focus calls for pervasively interdisciplinary research that draws on expertise and partnerships. Impact is generated through the close working with partners, an approach that underpins our research. Expertise developed through original research provides disciplinary inputs to projects, alongside knowledge of leading-edge research.
As a single primary research group, ARC has maximized research activity. Existing disciplinary expertise from longstanding research groups in Intelligent Systems, HCI, and Software Engineering now combines with expertise in application areas such as Bioinformatics, Health and Wellbeing, Creative Practices, and Cybersecurity. Partnerships and collaboration within and beyond the University of Sunderland have a multiplier effect, increasing the range, resources, and impact of a relatively small group of researchers.
In line with this strategic response, each researcher in the school combines expertise in disciplinary areas with experience in application areas. This results in an agile responsive research environment capable of a broad range of collaborations.
Applied focus is supported by foundational research that addresses existing gaps in knowledge. We have developed new approaches to user experience evaluation, machine learning, modelling for healthcare and innovation for the software sector. These have had valuable impacts in the work of UK hospitals, the UK government digital service, commercial organisations (Orange, Habito) and small companies in north east England.
Our research has been funded by the EU, Google, Huawei, and Innovate UK. Our research collaboration includes NHS Foundation Trusts in Sunderland, Nottingham and Hampshire, Universities in the UK (Durham), Czech Republic, France, Finland, Dubai, Iraq, Pakistan, China, Abu Dhabi, India and South Africa (Cape Town), and UK charities (Riding for the Disabled Association).
We have a long history of effective engagement with business, government and the third sector. Direct funding from industry and from regional, national and European sources has supported over two decades of collaborative research and its application in practical contexts. This engagement spans a range of activities from contract research, collaborative projects, large scale support projects for the digital sector, and bespoke training and consultancy. This broad portfolio of activities and funding supports sustainability and vitality through the engagement of post-doctoral researchers to address research challenges that are grounded in worthwhile problems.