University project to explore how computing can affect our world

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Lancaster University is to launch a Future Places Centre will become a world-leading research hub examining how computing technology can shape the places where we live and enable us to live healthier lives.

The centre builds on Lancaster University’s pioneering research in ‘pervasive computing’, artificial intelligence, the natural environment and data science to address public concerns for healthier living, sustainability and the environment.

It will bring together university experts from a wide range of fields including from Lancaster’s School of Computing and Communications, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster Medical School, Health Innovation Campus, Imagination Lancaster, the Institute for Social Futures and the Data Science Institute.

The Future Places Centre is supported with a £6.8m investment by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and has also attracted more than £4.2m of support from its external partners.

The Eden Project is a Foundational Partner and will take a prominent role in co-creating the centre’s activities. Other partners include Lancaster City Council; Microsoft Research; West Lancashire CCG; Morecambe Bay Health and Care Partners; Public Health England; Micro:bit Foundation; Samsung; Improva Group; Regenda Homes; Halton Housing; Connected Places Catapult; the Local Council Roads Innovation Group; Bristol Council; Liverpool CCG; Heathfield Residential Home; Blackpool and Fylde College; The RSPB; Small World Consulting; Media II Matter; and Hardy and Ellis Innovations.

Professor Richard Harper, director of the Lancaster University Future Places Centre, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to convert our academic and scientific research into actions that create a real impact. Working with these partners and local communities, we can bring science and technology into life”.

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