Innovation news in brief: Digital health; buildings data; autonomous vehicles

Serendip partners

Start-ups sought for new digital health quarter in Birmingham

Tech or digital start-up businesses in the digital health sector are being encouraged to accelerate their growth by applying to Innovation Birmingham’s Serendip Smart Cities Incubator programme.

Businesses benefit from free high-tech office space, mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs, a 180-seat presentation auditorium and access to more than 100 evening networking events and workshops.

Dr David Hardman, CEO of Innovation Birmingham, said: “With access to all the innovation challenges that healthcare practitioners and managers identify, start-ups will be able to market-test their product or service and gain access to big data and exclusive insight into innovation in the healthcare industry.

To apply for Serendip, visit

Building Data Exchange offers wealth of data on energy efficient buildings

A wealth of information on best practice and pitfalls in construction of modern, energy efficient homes, offices, shops and public buildings is to be shared through a new Building Data Exchange.

The Building Data Exchange has been created by the Digital Catapult centre to allow designers, developers and constructors to take advantage of the wealth of information gathered over the last 6 years by Innovate UK’s £8 million Buildings Performance Evaluation programme.

Simon Hart, Innovate UK programme leader for the built environment, said: “Homes and offices are not performing as they should do. They are consuming up to 10 times the energy they should, and there are a multitude of factors behind that.

“The programme has amassed so much data that it’s difficult for constructors to process it. There is an opportunity now for digital businesses to create smart home or property technology that could be adopted by the construction industry and help it to tackle these issues.”

There are opportunities to use the data in many fields including in proptech, smart homes, Internet of Things, future cities, wearable tech, data, buildings information management, retail, energy systems, renewables fintech, sensors, materials and manufacturing.

Access the Building Data Exchange here

Jaguar Land Rover help autonomous vehicles drive like humans, not robots

Jaguar Land Rover is investing in a multi-million pound research project that will help future autonomous vehicles drive naturally like human drivers, rather than like robots.

A fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be driven daily by employees of the London Borough of Greenwich, to establish how a range of different drivers react to real-world driving situations, including heavy traffic, busy junctions, road works and bad weather

Data from sensors in these cars will reveal the natural driving behaviours and decision-making that drivers make whilst driving, including complex and stressful scenarios. These include giving way at roundabouts and intersections, how drivers ease forward at junctions to enter a flow of traffic, or how they react to an emergency vehicle coming up behind their car whilst in a traffic jam.

The three year £5.5m ‘MOVE-UK’ project, which is led by Bosch, will also use this data to help develop insurance policies for future autonomous cars. Insurance experts will provide their expertise on the liability of certain scenarios using the real-world driving data supplied by the fleet of test cars.

SRG launches 2016 science salary survey

Science, clinical and engineering recruitment company SRG has released its 2016 Salary Survey, discussing the latest salary and market trends within the science industry.

The report highlights that salaries, and the market as a whole, have remained stable over the last year – but that certain factors could have a destabilising effect in the future.

Kelly Morton, managing director of SRG, said: “It’s been an interesting year for science to say the least. Although salary increases and bonuses have slowed down, the science industry has actually seen its fair share of changes over the past 12 months, not least the deal between Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline. When two titans come together, the shockwaves can indeed be far-reaching.”

The report also focuses on the fact that while many scientists enjoy their work, 37% are unhappy with their work-life balance and a massive 86% feel under more pressure.

Drug development firm expands in Nottingham

A drug development firm expects to grow and take on more staff after moving in to larger offices in Nottingham, reports the Nottingham Post.

Worldwide Clinical Trials recently moved from Nottingham Science Park to Waterfront House at Beeston Business Park.

After more than 25 years at the Science Park, the company said it has moved to facilitate further growth following years of gradual organic growth.

British Science Week sparks imagination in South Yorkshire

British Science Week will see nearly 40 free public events taking place across South Yorkshire to inspire the next generation of scientists.

The fortnight-long series of events, led by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, starts on Friday 11 March 2016, includes 155 events in schools and colleges across the region, along with 37 free public events in the city’s universities and museums.

With activities from analysing your own DNA to a talk about the fascinating world of bacteria and the spread of antibiotic resistance, the festival aims to fascinate and spark an interest in science, maths and engineering.

Prof Charles Stirling from the University of Sheffield said: “The aim of British Science Week is to captivate the imagination and inspire adults and young people through science.

“We have a fantastic array of events featuring scientists, engineers and mathematicians that deliver cutting edge research at the city’s universities.”

For further information and to see the full programme of events visit