Digital Economy USRG

New Web Science Institute Blog

Avatar photoMay 12, 2014
by Lisa Harris

Since the start of 2014, we have migrated existing posts from this blog to the new Web Science Institute blog – please check this out for the latest content

The DE emailing list has also been re-titled WSI – its membership list is unchanged.

INSPIRE Conference II, 28 February, 2014

Avatar photoMarch 1, 2014
by Lorraine Warren

leicsOver 70 delegates were inspired by a vibrant conference which showcased the outcomes of the British Council and the Pakistan Higher Education Commission’s INSPIRE initiative, and set the direction for future partnerships. Talks by Professor Dr Mukhtar Ahmed (Executive Director of HEC), Peter Upton (Pakistan Director, British Council), Mr Balighur Rehman, Minister for Education and Training (Government of Pakistan) and Nishat Riaz (Director Education, British Council) spoke of the value of education and collaborative partnerships, emphasising the need for research to have social impact through knowledge exchange and transfer processes. Many longstanding connections were renewed, and new friendships forged in the spirit of can-do collaboration we have all come to expect from INSPIRE colleagues. The event also launched the upcoming Knowledge Economy Partnerships.

INSPIRE in Dubai

Avatar photoFebruary 11, 2014
by Lorraine Warren

inspirepcA productive and enjoyable time was had this week in Dubai at the INSPIRE International Research Conference. As well as presentations from scholars from IMSciences and other institutions in Pakistan, including IBA-Sukkur, COMSATS IIT-Attock, BahauddinZakariya University, Multan, Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore, the University of Lahore, Khushal Khan Khattak University, Karak and the University of Peshawar, participants enjoyed contributions from the UK side project members (Lorraine Warren and Mine Karatas-Ozkan), the British Council’s Mr Ismail Badat, Regional Head of KPK’s SMEDA, Mr Javed Iqbal, Dr Nasser Ali Khan, VC of the University of Haripur, Mrs Nabeela Farman of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Dr Muhammad Ali, Joint Director of IMSciences and IMSciences ORIC co-ordinator. Prizes were awarded as follows:

Best Paper award went jointly to Mr Attaullah Shah from IMSciences (Importance of judicial efficiency in capital structure decisions of small firms: evidence from judicial districts of Pakistan) and Dr Zia Obaid from the Universit of Peshawar (Social entrepreneurs in the post 9/11 world: ealigning networks for better trust).

Best upcoming resaercher award went to Mr Adnan Javed (Power dnamics of the institutional change process and organisational response)

Web Science Research Week

Avatar photoJanuary 11, 2014
by Lisa Harris

The Web Science Institute and the Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Southampton are running a Web Science Research Week (24-28th February 2014) to influence research into how the web is changing the world and the world is changing the web.

The inaugural research week will undertake a programme of short term projects for which we are inviting nominations for topics.

The aims of the week are:

  • to answer questions and generate insight on relevant issues
  • to build relationships between Web Science partners and supporters from industry and academia
  • to meet students and trainee researchers and participate in their future research directions

Research Project 1: Obtaining Legal Highs from the Web

(Led by Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Lisa Sugiura, with support from partners from the National Crime Agency)

It is possible to buy prescription, lifestyle and recreational drugs online and have them delivered to your door, but this unlicensed and unpoliced trade that poses obvious health risks to consumers, has resulted in the death of young people who obtain legal highs from the Web. There has been very little research undertaken on the availability of these legal highs on the Web; this activity will use Web Observatory techniques to uncover evidence of the practice backed up by interviews with those affected.

WSI Research Week 2014 Outline Programme

Monday 24th February 11am: At University of Southampton. Launch of the Research Week with keynotes, lunch and poster session networking opportunity with our students and staff.
Tuesday 25th-Thursday 27th February. At University of Southampton A programme of Guest Seminars from Industry Partners and meetings to discuss future research directions.
Friday 28th February 11am: At Royal Society, London. Summary presentations from research week projects, closing keynotes and lunch.

Throughout the week, our students will be working on the research projects and delivering presentations at the Royal Society on the Friday. Guests are very welcome to participate and be part of a research group for an hour, half a day or whatever time you can contribute during the week. But even if you are not available during the week, please join the week’s highlight on Friday 28th February at the Royal Society, London.

How you can take part

If you would like to participate, please reply to Claire Wyatt ( and indicate whether you would like to:

1) register a place for the launch on Monday 24th February 2014 at the University of Southampton

2) register a place for the closing event on Friday 28th February 2014 at the Royal Society, London

3) suggest a research project that a team of our students could undertake during the week

4) deliver an industry seminar to the Web Science Institute students and researchers on Tuesday 25th, Wednesday 26th or Thursday 27th February.

Further programme details will be available closer to the event when all the research activities have been allocated.

You can download a copy of the event poster here

#SXSC3 Speaker profile: Ben Mawson

Avatar photoNovember 18, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke


In his own words:

Benjamin Louis Mawson, Composer and Virtual Performance Developer‏. Working to make music composed in the digital studio come alive through motion-tracked real-time interactivity, using 3DBARE.

Ben’s most recent work has included sound effects for a London stage production of Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog” (simulating Moscow 1920s streets and domestic interiors) and the Cotswold Motoring Museum (vintage motor racing audio in surround sound in the new exhibition space).

He has composed extensively for chamber ensemble in addition to more recent acousmatic commissions including “ROOM” (2011), in the conceptual art show “Parallax” at John Hansard Gallery, Southampton and “Dreaming at the Circular Ruins” (2012), South Bank Centre, London.

Recent compositional work and his PhD thesis are about how composition in the digital studio can be made to simulate acoustic music impossible for human hands: doing things that seem to be happening but aren’t, creating music you can walk inside and investigate like a physical structure, augmenting the auditory reality of a place.

He is currently working on a commission from New Dimensions (funded by Hampshire County Council) to build a community-based immersive audio portrait of Gosport, South East Hampshire, interpreting, depicting, augmenting the acoustic history and present of this pivotal historic port town.

It uses noTours software to create a geo-located multi-layered musical composition that draws on the contributions of hundreds of speaking, singing and playing residents and visitors to the town and is connected by a complex web of structurally linked fragments of virtual sonic reality. The composition will cover several hundred acres of the town, accessible via noTours software for Android.

Recent guest presentations on immersive audio have included Cap Gemini and Google, schools in Southampton and the Landscape Institute.

Ben is working on ways to present music created in the digital studio so the experience is continually changeable, impossible to hear the same way twice. These include multi-room speaker installations, GPS-based tracking with noTours software and wireless head-tracking (3DBARE) for listeners in an interior space – Music You Can Walk Inside.

He has a monthly show on internet radio station (Broadcast Art, Sound & Independent Culture) and posts regular articles here

In this event for SXSC3, Ben Mawson will be presenting noTours and 3DBARE, two distinct tools for listeners to walk inside an audio landscape. 3DBARE (under development) is a revolutionary approach to the creation of ‘digital liveness’, making repeated experience of fixed output continually changeable:
Music You Can Walk Inside.

noTours software, by Spanish sound collective is a means to annotate landscapes with audio via a GPS-enabled Android phone handset.

Ben will deliver a Master Class on Annotating Landscape with Sound, using GPS-based tool noTours at the Avenue campus 65 / 2149 10-4 on December 6:

“Annotating landscape with sound: an introduction to building geo-located audio sculpture.” A practical session on building geo-located sound structures in the landscape. Learn how to use the (free) editor software, build soundmaps, publish your work and share it with listeners. “Let the Place Speak to You”

#SXSC3 Speaker Profile: Sally Jane Norman

Avatar photoNovember 18, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

One of the speakers who highlights the scientific side of value during the Creative Digifest 2013 is Professor Sally Jane Norman. She will be giving a lecture on the link between digitisation and critical arts. What role have artists played in the forging and questioning of values? And, what role do they play in the upholding of the creative criticality on which productive social awareness depends? These and other questions will be answered with the help of examples of practical examples of art using digital technologies.


Sally Jane Norman is Professor of Performance Technologies, founder and director of the Attenborough Centre of the Creative Arts at the University of Sussex, founder of the interdisciplinary Culture Lab at the University of Newcastle in 2006, Honorary Professor with the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing, Visiting Fellow in the University of Porto’s M4M – Music for Media – network, and co-founder and regular jury member for the Vida Art and Artificial Life Competition launched in 1999 by Fundación Telefónica in Madrid.

As the holder of a doctorat d’état (Paris III Theatre Institute, Sorbonne Nouvelle), her research is primarily in the field of live art, performance architectures and technologies, where she combines fields that at first glance seem unrelated: robotics, motion capture and art. Together with Bennett Hogg she recently was the co-editor of a Contemporary Music Review issue on “Resistant Materials” (2013).

If you would like to know more about Professor Sally Jane Norman, then check her personal and professional websites, or come to the Creative Digifest at the De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel in Southampton.

SXSC3 Speaker Profile: Alan Patrick

Avatar photoNovember 17, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Merel van Dijke

alan p

Alan Patrick is the co-founder of Broadsight, a group of people who work in the area of Media 2.0, meaning that they focus on market intelligence, strategy and systems development across the whole multi-media ecosystem. Broadsight has consulted to many of the major digital-media players in Europe and has helped start or turn around a number of startups. They have also developed innovative technology for a number of clients. Alan also writes the well regarded Broadstuff blog on technology development. He has also developed the ‘Broadstuff Bubble-o-Meter’ tracking the current Social Media bubble’s evolution, which has been picked up by other technology blogs and the Guardian.

He has a broad range of specialities, ranging from IT to Management, from Consulting to Simulation. During the #SXSC3 Alan will be talking about the issues that arise when starting-up a business such as business models and planning, partner networks and risk management. If you want to know more about Alan, be sure to check out his Twitter and be sure to come along to the Creative Digifest 2013!

“What do you think is the biggest challenge in setting up an online business?”
Differentiation – aka making it out of the Darwinian start-up morass.

“What is your #1 tip for digital start-ups?”
Most overnight successes have been around a long time!

#SXSC3 Speaker profile: Paul Walland

Avatar photoNovember 16, 2013
by Lisa Harris

By Michel Hanna

During the Creative Digifest #SXSC3 several workshops will be given by experts in the field. One of those is Paul Walland, who will be discussing new digital technologies and business model development. Issues related to the challenges of running media-based collaborative projects will be covered. The challenge is how to create and maintain collaborative relationships value around new technology in a fast-moving highly interconnected environment dominated by competing and evolving standards.

paul walland

Paul has over 25 years experience in the leadership of research teams, ranging from pure and applied research to product development and innovation management in a wide range of UK based commercial organisations and academia. He joined the senior management team of the University of Southampton IT Innovation Centre in 2006, where he acts as principal investigator on a number of EC and UK funded research projects in addition to his role in developing new projects and innovations in the digital media arena. Prior to this, Paul was Projects Group Manager responsible for collaborative project research at Snell & Wilcox Ltd, UK, where he initiated and led a wide range of UK and European research projects in the field of digital video and multimedia. Paul also was a founding Director of the multi-media Virtual Centre of Excellence, steering board member and vice-president of the European Digital Television Action Group (DigiTAG), and active contributor to both DTG and DVB. He has chaired workshops, conferences and working groups as well as publishing widely at international conferences and in technical journals. So, he has plenty of knowledge and expertise to share in what is sure to be a very interesting workshop.

Random Hacks of Kindness #RHoKSoton

Avatar photoNovember 14, 2013
by Lisa Harris

For the 4th time Random Hacks of Kindness is again coming to Southampton on 7-8 December!

This event brings together developers, makers, and technology enthusiasts with people & organisations working in (international) development, education, and the social sector.

Join us and apply your problem solving and technology skills for the greater good!

Eventbrite signup here

A review of last year’s event by Digital Champion Faranoosh Beherman

Twitter hash: #RHoKSoton