Here’s how businesses can work with Royal Holloway, University of London to unlock business value
Royal Holloway, University of London
May 6 | 7 minutes read
Businesses today face many challenges, but being in the throes of a pandemic adds a new layer of complexities for organisations worldwide.
Companies without a digital presence, for instance, have to undergo a swift digital transformation or technology adoption to ensure their survival. In an era characterised by climate change, organisations are under pressure to change their strategic priorities. In our tech-driven world, an increasing number of companies need up-to-date market intelligence to make informed business decisions that affect their bottom line.
These are issues that affect established companies as well as startups. Universities, however, have a wealth of expertise to help businesses unlock value. In addition to being home to a wealth of talent and facilities to input value, they have the academic and research expertise to help companies achieve excellence, identify and respond to new opportunities.
One such university that can help solve business challenges is Royal Holloway, University of London. The university works with businesses across various industries, from bio and med-tech through to cyber security and computing, varying in size from international corporates to SMEs. The university also works with charities, NGOs and government departments. It provides a wide range of technical services, consultancy and collaborative research opportunities to organisations in their areas of expertise to help solve short-term challenges and help them hone their long-term strategies.
The university is known for its academic prowess. It has a global reputation for research and makes a significant contribution and impact on the South East regional and national economy. It has consistently ranked well in UK university league table rankings. These include being ranked 22nd in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
Royal Holloway has several areas of research excellence that can help businesses solve challenges and then thrive in a number of ways.
Digital Futures in the Creative and Cultural Industries
Royal Holloway is well connected with the UK’s creative and cultural industries and develops strategic relations with industry partners.
StoryFutures is a world-leading interdisciplinary centre for applied research and training in the creative use of new technologies for innovation and growth in the UK’s economy. Led by Royal Holloway, it focuses on delivering game-changing R&D projects.
Its research explores several strands, including transforming the creative and performing arts for the post-Covid-19 era through the use of immersive and digital technology.
This helps businesses build strong relationships with partners across the creative, cultural and heritage sectors at both national and regional level. StoryFutures is also building relationships with industrial partners — the StoryFutures Creative R&D Cluster has worked with The National Gallery, Heathrow Airport, Nesta, Discovery, and Department for International Trade.
The StoryFutures Academy (led by Royal Holloway and National Film and Television School) was also involved in a wide range of partners, including the British Film Institute, Nexus Studios, the BBC and Punchdrunk.
StoryFutures has created a model for research collaborations with SMEs and cultural/creative institutions. It also builds on existing projects on new technologies in broadcast TV; data science in museums; human/technology interactions in contemporary music; and immersive experiences. Potential research beneficiaries include creative, cultural, heritage and arts organisations and industries, managers and practitioners, the wider public, community organisations, charities and SMEs in the sector.
Among StoryFutures’ past projects include Storyality, an audience engagement platform for the heritage sector. Arcade is a UK company that uses augmented reality technologies to offer a new way of immersing audiences into new environments. The prototype was developed in partnership with the UK Parliament.
Academics at Royal Holloway have been researching areas such as climate change, food and energy security, biodiversity, inequalities in education, work and participation, mobility and migration and political polarisation.
With these topics high on global agendas, the university’s researchers want to better understand the challenges of ‘living sustainably’ and to advocate for socially just and inclusive solutions.
This area of research builds on the university’s success with the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and related work on sustainability. It also responds to the challenges explicitly facing the UK as it prepares to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow and seeks new ways to explore these sustainability challenges via building dynamic clusters of researchers to address specific sustainability goals.
By leaning onto the UN sustainable development goals, Royal Holloway seeks to answer these by focusing their expertise and growing interdisciplinary links in domains such as energy security, sustainable work and economic growth, as well as health and wellbeing, to address key questions in how living sustainably can be explored, engaged with and understood in our communities.
Advanced Quantum Science and Technologies
Last year, the UK government announced it was injecting £70 million of funding to secure the UK’s position as a world leader in quantum technology. Quantum technology has been widely used for decades — its applications can be found in integrated circuits in mobile phones to its use in powering magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines in healthcare.
Researchers at Royal Holloway understand that quantum technology will play a key role in the future of high-tech driven economic recovery; they host key research infrastructure in the field and have the expertise to provide companies with research efforts on quantum.
Royal Holloway has developed SuperFab, an exceptional nanofabrication facility specialising in superconducting electronics and quantum circuits — offering academic and commercial access to state-of-the-art facilities. Specialising in superconducting and normal state metals, high-resolution electron-beam lithography, specialist metal deposition systems and related services, including advanced expertise in condensed matter quantum technologies.
Royal Holloway is also home to the UK Centre for Superconducting and Hybrid Quantum Systems (UK-CSQS), an exciting collaboration between Royal Holloway, National Physical Laboratory and Lancaster University. It is dedicated to the development of quantum device technology through the application of fundamental phenomena based on superconductivity.
Transformative Digital Technologies, Security and Socioeconomic Impacts
Digital technologies play an essential role in supporting economic growth, social wellbeing as well as equality. Royal Holloway is a recognised pioneer in the cyber security world. It is home to the world-class Information Security Group, which has a key role in encouraging multi-disciplinary, collaborative efforts to address cyber security capability that’s essential to safeguarding the UK and its critical infrastructure that directly impacts society.
The university’s research in the area includes artificial intelligence (AI)/robotics and information/ cybersecurity, linked to other research strands. However, much of the real-world impact is anticipated from the combination of the university’s expertise in these areas with distinctive research strengths in psychological, societal, economic and environmental contexts.
AI and data economy is one of the four UKRI/EPSRC’s (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) grand challenges. Future calls will arise from the UKRI Digital Economy Theme — led by EPSRC, with AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council), ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) and Innovate UK — which is developing new priority areas in Trust Identity Privacy and Security; Content Creation and Consumption; Beyond a Data Driven Economy; Sustainable Digital Society; Equitable Digital Society.
The university is well-positioned to increase its portfolio of funding through fellowships and Innovate UK applications, enhanced by its new environment of cross-disciplinarity and co-creation.
Enterprise enriches the teaching and research environments through embedding relationships with business, industry and the government to help Royal Holloway address global challenges. This also allows the university to maximise its research and IP assets and support students in their skills development and future career opportunities.
Royal Holloway will also be launching RH Innovation, a new workspace, enterprise and innovation support programme this summer. The vision is, “To drive the development of digital enabling and digital creative technologies to accelerate innovation, enterprise and impact through enhanced collaboration with industry”. It is aimed at directly supporting students, staff and regional entrepreneurs to drive enterprise activity in digital and creative technologies with emerging new businesses through upskilling, retraining and incubation.
Discover how Royal Holloway can support your business goals and unlock value, helping you to build insight and awareness of your organisation; sharing knowledge through collaborative research that matters to you and your organisation, and contributing expertise to inspire your business to succeed.
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