News Story

KMi, the first 25 years

Jane Whild, Monday 18 Nov 2019

At the 25th Anniversary KMi Festival we invited staff from across the OU campus to come and find out how our latest knowledge and media technologies are impacting education, science, and cities. 

The Festival attendees included Lady Kitty Chisholm, one of the three founders of KMi, the STEM Executive Dean, Nick Braithwaite, and the new CFO Paul Traynor.  Visitors had in-depth conversations with the research teams and tried out some hands-on exhibits.  Among the fun demonstrations were the Knowledge Makers’ Memory Game, and the Citizens Science Team’s Biodiversity Quiz, which invited visitors to test their powers of observation by comparing photographs of bees and butterflies which have been uploaded by the general public with the species catalogue, to identify the correct variety of species. There was also a demonstration of the Open Field Lab kit which is used to broadcast live student fieldcasts through the OU’s Stadium Live system.


A visitor tries the Knowledge Makers' Memory Game

Other stands were showing:

  • Our Social Media Analytics work on online misogyny was recently featured in WIRED 
  • Our learning analytics platform (OU Analyse) which has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Award.  The OU Analyse Team are OU REsearch Excellence 2019 winners. 
  • Our scholarly data platform which CORE now attracts more web traffic than the OU or FutureLearn websites. The CORE team are aslo OU Research Excellence Awards 2019 winners.
  • Our collaboration with Springer Nature on scholarly analytics has produced a new standard classification scheme for Computer Science as well as a solution for automatic metadata generation, which is now in routine use at Springer Nature. 
  • Our blockchain based accreditation work underpins the £20M funded Institute of Coding which was highlighted at the OU’s TEDx event.
  • Our award-winning MK Data Hub which was recently applied to power the world’s first Smart City Robot competition in Central Milton Keynes.

A picture of Hans the Robot in action

Back in 1994, the KMi founders had a vision of what the future of knowledge and media would be like and KMi was created to implement such a vision. During this 25 years KMi has established itself as a world-class research centre and the KMiFest was a great way to come together to celebrate the impact that KMi’s intensive research has delivered.



The world's largest collection of open access research papers

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Institute of Coding

Unlock your talent

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An innovation programme developing sustainable smart solutions for Milton Keynes

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Open Blockchain

Investigating The Potential Of Blockchains

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OU Analyse

The OU Analyse project is piloting new machine learning based methods for early identification of students who are at risk of failing.

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Decentralised Qualifications' Verification and Management for Learner Empowerment, Education Reengineering and Public Sector Transformation

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Bringing Robots into Smart Cities through Competitions

Xtreme Webcasting

Taking webcasting to the xtreme

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The Open University
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