User-Centred Design and Usability of Bionic Devices

Bionics+ is an EPSRC funded research network plus and will stimulate and support a cohesive activity towards next-generation bionic technologies to co-create user-centred systems, methods and care models that are fit for purpose. Bionics+ takes place with four central tenets in mind: A) a user-centric approach; B) security in our data (cybersecurity); C) inclusive of clinical and industry inputs; D) promoting smart manufacturing processes.
Bionics+ deals with four major application areas: implants, prostheses, artificial organs and exoskeletons/ wearables, and seven cross-cutting capabilities: data processing and AI, bioelectronics, materials, control systems, secure communications, sensing and stimulation. Taken together these will allow for cross-fertilisation of ideas across the network such that Bionics+ will focus on ambitious, collaborative and transformative research and the formulation of longer-term strategy.

We want to expand our network membership - it is free to join!

If you would like to join this network as a project partner then please contact us - we are interested in academics, clinicians, end-users, and industry members who are involved in all aspects of the field of Bionics.

  • Prof Kia Nazarpour & Neuranics
    Prof Kia Nazarpour, CSO of Neuranics, co-founded the bio-magnetic sensor company, securing £1.9m pre-seed funding. Their innovative sensors enhance robotic hand control and virtual interactions, offering easier use than traditional methods.

What will we fund?

Bionics+ will run for 4 years (2021 - 2025). Throughout this time we will have multiple funding rounds, as well as varied events and activities.

4Funding Themes
5Funding Schemes
18Total Funding Calls


Funding Themes

In Bionics+ we will be utilising our funding to support various activities.

1. Networking Activities

1. Networking Activities

Our team is not limited to the investigators and network members. We work with various stakeholders including patients and their families, clinicians, industry experts, policymakers, media and charity organisations from the project outset. We will discuss specific ideas and goals

2. Dissemination Activities

2. Dissemination Activities

Bionics+ will implement a comprehensive equality, diversity, and inclusion panel to guide and shepherd network activities. Membership will include representation across academia, industry, patient users and healthcare. The panel will identify main areas where policies and initiatives can be established

3. Impact Activities

3. Impact Activities

Public Engagement with Bionics – Issues surrounding bionics attract high levels of public interest, and researchers in these fields have a responsibility to inform public debate. The current work of the executive team has received high media coverage (BBC, ITV and

4. Management Activities

4. Management Activities

We have earmarked an amount of funding that will be made available to network partners through a bidding process. All the activities will be announced through all our communications well in advance of the closing dates. Eligibility criteria will be

Funding Schemes

We will fund our network partners through various schemes.

A. Sandpits

A. Sandpits

We plan to hold Funding Sandpit events in Years 1, 2 and 3 – a fixed amount of funding will be made available for exciting and innovative explorations of bionic technologies and feasibility studies. The specific details and themes for

B. Impact Space

B. Impact Space

ImpactSpace is a platform that brings together stakeholders to accelerate the translation of bionics research into clinical impact. Stakeholders will be patient groups, their families & carers, charity organisations, industry, academia, clinicians & healthcare executives (e.g., policy). They will co-design

C. Public Engagement training

C. Public Engagement training

We will make three annual awards, over the four years of the project (so 12 awards in total), to enable our network members to design and implement relevant public engagement activities.

D. Research exchange visits

D. Research exchange visits

Annually Bionics+ will fund two national & one international research exchange visit(s) of PhD students and/or Early Career Researchers. This will facilitate the initiation of new collaborations & help researchers to acquire new skills that are not available in their

E. RADA training

E. RADA training

We will sponsor three network members per year to attend training workshops of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Example workshops are Voice of Influence and Stepping up with Confidence for Women. Specific details on actual schemes will be released each

Equality Diversity and Inclusion

ED & I

We are committed to creating a diverse network environment where we value, trust and respect each other. Our network will include members of different national origin, race, colour, genetics, religion, marital status, lifestyle, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability,

The Executive Team

This network is managed through a consortium of five academics/ clinicians that hail from five UK universities, these are as follows: University of Warwick (PI), University of Exeter, Imperial College London, University of Leeds, and University of Edinburgh. Feel free to contact any of our team if you need more information about anything.

Prof C James

Christopher James

Professor of Biomedical Engineering (PI)

Christopher is a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist and interested in information extraction from brain and behaviour. He uses AI based techniques to create precise and efficient BCI system.

Helen Dawes

Professor of Movement Science (CoI)

Helen is a clinical academic and her research explores mechanisms of movement & posture in health & disease in both adults & children; it specifically focuses on translational technology & innovation to support rehabilitation & self-management.

Rylie Green

Professor of Polymer Bioelectronics (CoI)

Rylie is a biomedical engineer with a focus on improving comms between the body & interfacing devices such as neuroprostheses & BCI. She does this through development of novel materials & tech that mimic the natural way cells communicate.

Kianoush Nazarpour

Reader in Biomedical AI (CoI)

Kia is biomedical engineer. He believes that co-creation has the potential to aid in building fit-for-purpose bionic solutions, by working with users as core stakeholders.

Rory O’Connor

Charterhouse Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine (CoI)

Rory is a clinician scientist working at the interface of rehabilitation technology, applied health research and measurement science.

Maria Dolores Richards

Network Manager

Maria has worked on the previously funded EPSRC Adaptive Assistive Rehabilitative Technology – Beyond the Clinic (AART-BC) project and is now Bionics+ Network Manager.

Lynda Webb

Senior Researcher in Co-creation

Lynda believes in engaging with all stakeholders including end users as central to the success in design, products, services and research.

Project Partners from Industry

Bionics+ brings together academics, clinicians, end-users and industry partners. The following is a sample of some of our partners from industry.