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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I001433/1
Title: The Exeter Science Exchange:trading ideas to promote multi-disciplinary collaboration
Principal Investigator: Butler, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Dupre, Professor J Ashwin, Professor P Bailey, Professor TC
Gagnier, Professor R van de Noort, Professor R Smirnoff, Professor N
Bessant, Professor J Wills, Professor A Zhang, Professor DZ
Barry, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
IBM South West Regional Development Agency
Department: Engineering Computer Science and Maths
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2010 Ends: 30 September 2013 Value (£): 501,450
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Archaeological Theory Earth Resources
Maritime History Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Feb 2010 Bridging the Gaps Call 4 Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The generation and exchange of ideas are two vital components necessary for successful academic research - it is hard to imagine one without the other! While academic management is traditionally organised on research thematic or departmental lines, and this is clearly an efficient way of ensuring effective exchange of ideas within research groups with a common agenda, it often forms a barrier to development of really novel research ideas that may come from 'left field' combinations of quite different disciplines. Even when these potentially ground-breaking complementarities are identified in different research areas, it is often hard to find the initial funding to pump-prime its development, and researchers will tend to fall back to less risky but familar areas of research endeavour.This proposal is to set up the Exeter Science Exchange (ESE), a coherent and directed institutional programme of activities designed to support new and innovative research collaborations across traditional discipline boundaries. These collaborations will link the rapidly expanding research base in Engineering and Physical Sciences research (EPS) with excellent research in both Life and Environmental Sciences (LES) and the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) at Exeter. In the same way as a stock exchange is a central, recognised and regulated venue for the trading of company stocks and shares for profit, so the ESE will consist of a central, recognised and organised physical and virtual space for the 'trading of ideas' across the LES - LES - HASS spectrum for intellectual profit and societal impact. The Exchange will enable interdisciplinary groups to co-habit the same real space (on campus) from time-to-time and the same virtual space all the time allowing the creation of shared identities and bringing about a new level of understanding across discipline boundaries. It will also provide a platform for knowledge management and the sharing of best practice.The Exchange will offer four linked strands of activity; the first three (communication, innovation and policy) are aimed at sparking interest and engagement across crucial boundaries areas, and the fourth strand (development) is aimed at providing a mechanism to develop the most promising of these ideas up to a level that they can be supported by more traditional mechanisms (grant applications, joint PhD students). It will provide a forum for ideas trading that will be available to all and has as wide a remit as possible, making connections between topics as diverse as climate modelling and materials science to maritime history and archaeology.Our initial focus will be on fostering collaboration based on institutional Science Strategy topics: Climate change and sustainable futures, systems biology, extrasolar planets and functional materials, however we will encourage engagement of a very wide range of researchers at Exeter, and will aim to develop and widen existing multi-disciplinary research within the University. We aim to draw on the expertise of a wide range of senior academics across the university who will assist in focusing the Exchange towards promising emerging areas, and in evaluating applications for pump-priming funding.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/btg/
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk