News Story

£1M Grant Hat-Trick in Interactive TV, Culture, Collaboration

Marc Eisenstadt, Wednesday 20 March 2002 | Annotate
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KMi researchers have been awarded grants on EPSRC and EU-funded projects worth a combined total of over £1M pounds in a series of new initiatives that will bring KMi into the arenas of interactive digital TV games, cultural heritage, and collaborative tools based on advanced knowledge technologies and presence awareness. The image accompanying this story comes from Tiny Planets, a forthcoming Interactive Digital TV game/series for children, produced by Pepper's Ghost Productions and serving as the base for the TINY-IN project. TINY-IN aims to establish and develop techniques for making new exciting types of interactive television material that provide a richer experience for young children at a significantly lower production cost per minute of 'viewer experience' using content-driven interactivity and scalable modes of transmission that can evolve from the PC/Internet to Enhanced TV or mobile devices. Grantholders Zdenek Zdrahal and Paul Mulholland will be working with project partners Pepper's Ghost Productions and Edinburgh's Virtual Environment Centre. A second award (CIPHER), sponsored by the European Union Information Society Technology scheme, will develop innovative technologies and methodologies that enable the celebration and exploration of natural and regional heritage on a global scale. The project will produce four cultural heritage web-based forums (beyond current virtual galleries or museums) that allow visitors to investigate cultural artefacts, and produce their own personal and shared spaces. This award, on work undertaken by Zdenek Zdrahal, Paul Mulholland, and Trevor Collins, is shared with the Dublin Institute of Technology, the University of Art and Design (Helsinki), Czech Technical University, The Discovery Programme (Ireland), and RiS GmbH Internet-Losungen (Germany). The third leg of this month's grant hat-trick is entitled CoAKTinG: Collaboritive Advanced Technologies in the GRID. This grant, to Simon Buckingham Shum and Marc Eisenstadt, is a spinoff of the ongoing £7M AKT Project in which KMi plays a major role. CoAKTinG aims to advance the state of the art in collaborative mediated spaces for distributed e-Science collaboration through the novel application of advanced knowledge technologies such as: Ontologies to enhance multi-modal and multi-media time phased group discussions and problem solving; Knowledge-based planning and task support to enhance issue-based process/activity discussions; Scholarly discourse and argumentation to enhance collaborative meeting structures; Presence and visualisation to enhance group peripheral awareness at a distance. It will support KMi's Compendium and BuddySpace project, and involves project partners at the Universities of Edinburgh and Southampton. The combined value of the grant awards for the three projects (counting all partners) exceeds £1.5M, and the value of the awards just for KMi exceeds £400K. All the projects are described in more detail at the links below, and have spawned a series of posts announced on the KMi Jobs page, also linked below.

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Marc Eisenstadt

Emeritus Professor; KMi Co-Founder and Chief Scientist

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