Work Package 7 - Utilization

Utilization activities initiated by coordinating postdoc


Postdoctoral research associate: Esther Steenbeek-Planting
Work package leaders: Antal van den Bosch & Peter Desain

Esther Steenbeek's work consists of supporting our researchers in their utilisation efforts. The mode of approach is threefold: Firstly, support is provided to researchers in their utilization efforts by delivering services. Secondly, utilization initiatives are actively invoked by launching new projects. Thirdly, outreach is organized to promote and disseminate knowledge to the outside world.

Services

Brainstorming and advice
As a follow up of an earlier full project scan, WP7 conducted a smaller inventory to shape the ideas for the content of the second utilization call. Based on the input received, early 2016, this second utilization call was launched on the topic of Human Machine Interaction (see below for more details).
More generally, researchers are supported in forming ideas and get advice on their ideas. The WP postdoc is available during a weekly utilization consultation hour for researchers to walk in and get advice on their outstanding questions.

Coaching and training
Researchers are provided with workshops and events to update their knowledge. In 2016 preparations have been made for a future project scan that will provide the opportunity for researchers for direct feedback of experts on different utilization aspects. These sessions will be used to scan state-of-the-art language research and to brainstorm about how this can be translated into practical applications. Future events may include innovation boot camps, and matchmaking events enabling researchers to meet with (non-)profit organizations, investors and other key persons.

Creation of software / Apps
Researchers are assisted in creating software, such as apps, by setting up an infrastructure and delivering advice on the costs and development process. The infrastructure for apps now consists of a series of LiI apps published on the Radboud University channels to which new apps can be added in the future. A style guide is available in which the LiI house style is adapted such that it is suitable for the development of apps.

In 2016 an app manager/developer was hired who manages the current series of apps, carrying through updates, desired adaptations and implementing the LiI house style to externally developed apps. Furthermore, the infrastructure consists of a series of LiI servers, which can be used for cloud computing facilities or web services, e.g. for open-source provisions targeted at companies and professionals who can use this in their products.

New Projects

New projects are launched via utilization calls, where LiI researchers are asked to submit concrete proposals. The proposals must be submitted according to clear application guidelines (related to content, finances, etc) and are subsequently judged by an independent assessment committee on a number of criteria (e.g. societal relevance, feasibility, etc.).

Apps
As a result, from the first internal utilization call on mobile apps, four apps were already launched.
In 2016, a fifth app was added to the series of LiI apps. This app, Yvo, was developed on the basis of a private donation in 2015, but will be maintained within the LiI framework. Yvo has been downloaded over a 1000 times.
A sixth app, VowelSpaceTravel, is still under development and will be released in 2017.

Human-machine interaction
In 2016 a second utilization call was launched addressing applications and technologies for human-machine interaction. Largely following the same format and procedure as in the first utilization call, all eight received proposals were assessed by an external committee based on predefined criteria.
Three proposals were awarded covering augmented reality, brain-computer interfacing and e-health. Currently, the utilization work package is involved in the hiring of the developers and the graphic designer, will be responsible for the project management of the applications, including the coordination of the developers and seeks for connections with relevant stakeholders of the applications.

Outreach

The Utilization WP is also involved in searching for, organization of, and participation in outreach events to disseminate the scientific content of our consortium.

In 2016, outreach to the outside world was realized in several ways.
All finished apps are recognizable by the application of the LiI house style (start icon, in-app information on the underlying research, etc.) and published via the LiI website.
The apps have been demonstrated on several occasions (HealthValley, Donders Open Day, Drongo Festival). The Yvo app raised public attention via several radio-shows (De Taalstaat, NPO radio 1).
The app manager created an accessible version of the LingQuest app which is now displayed at a long-term exhibition at the MuZIEum (>37.000 visitors per year), which is a museum were visitors can experience what it is like to be blind or partially sighted.