EPSRC-UKRI Innovation Fellowships aim to support engineering and physical sciences research aligned to the Industrial Strategy challenges. They nurture future leaders to promote greater mobility between industry and their own research base, and to ensure that UK industrial sectors have a supply of skilled researchers.

Dr Christian Richardt from the Department of Computer Science will work on creating a new form of immersive 360-degree VR video which will allow people to experience places, for example the International Space Station, without leaving the comfort of their own home. The new technology will overcome the limitations of existing 360-degree VR video, achieving unparalleled realism and immersion by providing freedom of head motion and motion parallax.

Christian will work with a number of project partners including Foundry (London) and REWIND (St Albans). He said: “I am delighted to have been awarded this Fellowship, as it allows me to completely focus on working towards my research vision and developing my team here at Bath.”

Dr Jim Stone from the Department of Physics will lead the exploitation of optical fibre technology in the healthcare industry. By using relatively cheap starting materials for optical fibres developed for the telecommunications industry, Jim will produce low-cost endoscopic devices capable of diagnosing and treating a number of conditions. It could significantly change the care pathway for a patient who potentially has lung cancer, incorporating both diagnosis and treatment.

Jim will work closely with clinical professionals at the University of Edinburgh and the healthcare industry. He said: “This fellowship provides me with a unique platform to build a group which will exploit the potential of novel optical fibre design within medicine.”

Christian and Jim were ranked first and second at the ESPRC UKRI Innovation Fellowship Interview panel.