Research from Bath recognised in EPSRC Impact Report

Three of the University’s key impact case studies from Science are recognised by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in its latest Economic Impact Report.

The report, which highlights the research funding council’s research performance and summarises how the EPSRC supports UK growth and productivity through investment, highlights successes from our Departments of Biology & Biochemistry, Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science.

World’s largest antibody search engine

Through the EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Account, the report notes the success of antibody search engine CiteAb, founded by Dr Andrew Chalmers in our Department of Biology & Biochemistry with local digital design company Storm Consultancy. Since its launch, CiteAb has grown to become the largest antibody search engine in the world in a US$2 billion dollar industry and is ranked number 1 by Google.

Dr Chalmers said: "One of the biggest problems for a researcher is being sure that the antibody they’re about to spend hundreds of pounds on is going to work. They can waste time and money buying the wrong one, CiteAb solves this problem. We rank antibodies by academic citations as these are the best guide to whether an antibody is likely to work in the laboratory – citations are independent and easily verifiable, and no one can pay to be the top hit."

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Doctoral Training in Digital Entertainment

The report also comments on the work of our EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Entertainment which recently attracted a second tranche of funding. This £4.5 million collaboration between Bath and Bournemouth funds doctoral students in digital games, visual effects and animation. Thanks to close working with an active network of SMEs, our students are gaining exceptional industry experience and companies benefit from access to highly-skilled industry-prepared students.

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Developing more accurate weather forecasts

Finally, the report’s chapter covering how EPSRC-funded research has a direct impact on UK transportation with examples having influence policy and public services for the Department for Transport and Department of Energy & Climate Change, draws on work spearheaded through our Department of Mathematical Sciences.

Through this work, Met Office and EPSRC-funded researchers from our University have developed more accurate predictions pivotal for the 24 hour OpenRoad forecasting system. This is now used by companies and local authorities to help maintain essential road services, including road clearing and gritting when snow or ice are predicted with the improved forecasting of road temperatures leading to more cost-effective use of grit supplies (gritting can cost between £10k to £15k per day).

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Head of Research Information and Intelligence within Research & Innovation Services, Katy McKen said: “To see a range of projects developed by researchers here at Bath recognised in this way by the EPSRC is a fantastic endorsement of the kind of impacts we’re making with our research.”

To find out more about our REF performance see http://www.bath.ac.uk/research/performance; to access the EPSRC report see https://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/pubs/impactreport201415/.

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