An academic’s perspective of Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire
Want to find out more about Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire? We spoke to their Academic Director and Professor of Visual Computing at the University of Bradford, Rami Qahwaji, for an academic’s perspective.
When did you join the Digital Catapult Centre Yorkshire?
I was fortunate to become the Academic Director in June 2015.
Why is DigiCatYorks appealing to academics?
The Catapult’s mission is very interesting for me as an academic. I am engaged in the development of new technologies for data analytics but always find it challenging to assess the true potential of our R&D activities, beyond the academic circles. Assessing the impact of our research for society and the economy is something academics generally struggle with.
What opportunities does the local centre offer?
I find the opportunities offered by the centre quite exciting. The Catapult’s events provide the opportunity to interact with SMEs and learn about their business models, products, services and challenges. They also encourages interaction with public sector organisations and data owners, providing them with access to cutting-edge developments being carried out at universities. Interesting ideas and strategic plans for collaboration can be generated from these interactions.
What can we expect to see from the centre over the coming months?
Our local centre is situated in the Leeds city region, which is rich with data and hosts a variety of assets related to digital health. The area itself has a complex and diverse demographic making it an ideal testing ground for a wide range of health solutions. We have an active partnership board, led by the University of Bradford, but also comprised of Bradford Council, leading Yorkshire universities and industry representatives. The University of Bradford has recently been awarded funds for a major Digital Health Enterprise Zone (DHEZ) and we work closely with DHEZ promoting Digital innovation in wellbeing and care.
Our Centre aims to create a cultural shift in citizens’ relationships with their personal data and develop novel and trusted platforms to encourage innovations, new products and services. To realise this vision we will focus on developing new platforms for the mutual benefit of personal data owners and users, as well as an international patient experience R&D lab. There are many interesting developments to come, so watch this space!