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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K012509/1
Title: Digital Green Doors
Principal Investigator: Preist, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Cater, Professor KF Birdi, Dr A Coyle, Dr D T
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Bristol City Council Bristol Green Doors Forum for the Future
IBM UK Ltd Mobile Pie RWE Generation
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 February 2013 Ends: 31 March 2015 Value (£): 235,651
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Processes Economics
Human-Computer Interactions Mobile Computing
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Sep 2012 EPSRC : Research in the Wild Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Domestic environmental technologies (DETs) such as solid wall insulation, ground source heat pumps and rainwater harvesting have an important role to play if the UK is to meet its environmental objectives around carbon emissions, water conservation and energy use. Many such technologies are cost effective and simple to install, and schemes such as the forthcoming Green Deal make them financially possible for more people. However, if they are to become widely adopted they must be seen as a 'social norm' within communities. An effective way to do this is to encourage interaction between 'local experts' who have installed such technologies, and their neighbours. In this way, best practice can be spread through a community. Digital technology can be used to promote this, by providing information about local experts, mediating communication, creating enjoyable games through which people interact, and rewarding those who contribute their time. This project will work with Bristol Green Doors, a community interest company which promotes events to support communities in shared learning around DETs, to develop and assess a set of distributed mobile services to inform, entertain and engage local community members in sharing best practice. It will also look at how local business recommendations that emerge from such sharing can be tracked and assessed for effectiveness, and so potentially monetised in an online business model.

The project will investigate (i) whether and how digital technology can be used to catalyse the spread of best practice within communities, and (ii) whether and how this results in a demonstrable impact on the local economy which can be digitally tracked. It's four objectives are:

A. Understand how best-practice sharing around DETs currently takes place in the community, what barriers there are, and what ideas stakeholders have for improving it.

B. Develop in collaboration with the community a set of distributed services to support best-practice sharing and recommendation tracking.

C. Assess the effectiveness in spreading best practice, acceptability to the community, and impact on local business of different feature sets and functionality the distributed services provide.

D. Assess the project with regard to generality of lessons and insights; identify both general and more situation-specific learnings for use in digital enablement of community best-practice sharing and the stimulation of local business.

The resulting services will be deployed in the Bristol area by Bristol Green Doors, resulting in increased engagement with DETs by the community. The service platform will be released open source, for use by other organisations involved in community engagement with DETs, and training will be provided through engagement workshops and documentation. The more general research results will be shared with businesses, policy makers and community organisations interested in the spreading of best practice within communities through workshops and publication in both academic and popular venues.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk