Bionics+ Showcase & Early Career Researcher Networking

17th & 18th June 2024

University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

On the 16th and 16th June 2024 we were pleased to welcome Bionics+ partners to the University of Warwick for a showcase event followed by a skill-building / networking day for Early career researchers.

We had keynote presentations from both Dr Nick Gompertz, Founder and CEO of EarSwitch (https://www.earswitch.co.uk) who spoke about the development of his product and company, and by Dr Mahmaz Arvaneh, University of Sheffield a researcher in BCI and Stroke Rehabilitation regarding the outcomes of a trial of real-world BCI that she undertook (link to bio here).

We also had excellent plenary sessions given by Prof Chad Bouton, Feinstein Institutes of Medical Research at Northwell Health NY who spoke about Implantable BCI and again emphasised the real-world aspect of creating and maintaining a BCI system that is fit for purpose away from the lab. Another presentation was an update on Devices for Dignity given by Prof Kia Nazarpour (https://devicesfordignity.org.uk) as well as a fascinating update on his own work in making wearables/ implants fit for purpose with a younger population.

We then had updates on both of our Bionics+ funded feasibility studies: first it was Project SPASMS (Sensorization to Premeditate and Attenuate Symptoms in the Management of Spasticity): Wearable system for Remote and longitudinal monitoring of spasticity by Dr Amit N. Pujari from the University of Hertfordshire and then an update on Multimodal Intelligent Systems for Improving Diagnosis and Treatment of Depression, by Dr Joshua Giles from the University of Sheffield.

Of course this was all accompanied by networking galore over teas, coffees, loads of biscuits and cakes and the odd spot of lunch too!

On the second day we had sessions specific to Early Career Researchers which gave our attendees the opportunity to network, present on their work through posters as well as participate in two workshops. The 1st workshop was on Co-creation – the why, who and how, by our very own Dr Lynda Webb from the University of Edinburgh – an opportunity to find out the importance of co-creation in our line of work – with opportunities brainstorm ideas and role-play scenarios. The second workshop was on Outreach & Bionics+ and was delivered by Prof Christopher James from the University of Warwick – in this workshop STEM Outreach more generally was discussed as well as outlining our work within Bionics+ to promote STEM outreach. This workshop ended with an opportunity for. the ECRs present to apply for Outreach funding for projects of interest – hopefully we will be able to say more on this sometime soon.

I would like to express my thanks to the team including Ms Maria Dolores Feijoo-Reñones, our Network Manager, as well the rest of the executive group who attended and participated in the talks and workshops (Dr Lynda Webb, Prof Kia Nazarpour & Prof Helen Dawes). I also would like to thank all our presenters and our partners who attended and strengthened our Bionics+ Network.


Showcase Event Report – June 2024