15th April 2024

N-CODE Stakeholder-Led Study Group April 2024

Location: Telford, Shropshire
Venue: The Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
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APPLICATIONS TO ATTEND ARE NOW OPEN!  

 

DEADLINE: 16:00 (GMT), Thursday 28th March 2024 

Venue: The Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Sutton Heights, Telford, Shropshire, TF7 4DT
DatesMonday 15th April (12:00 start) – Thursday 18th April (17:00 close) 2024

Join us to co-create solutions for our challenges of unmet need, which require the development of innovative neurotechnologies to shift the emphasis of diagnosis and management of a variety of neurological conditions from the hospital into the community.   

We are seeking researchers from academic or industrial backgrounds at all career stages to participate in the Study Group and enable formation of truly multi-disciplinary teams to co-create novel solutions. We anticipate innovative solutions for community-based neurotechnologies using approaches built around digital health, neural interfacing, signal processing, machine learning and mathematical modelling as enabling technologies.

Three themes of Challenges will be addressed:  

  1. Using technology to improve the diagnostic accuracy of cognitive assessments for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

  2. Developing inclusive and remote outpatient neurorehabilitation services through the use of digital technology, mathematical modelling and machine learning

  3. Supporting differential diagnosis and supporting neurotechnological solutions for management of functional neurological disorder and paroxysmal neurological events

We invite those with research skills in one or more of the following areas to register and participate:
Brain-computer interfaces   /   app development   /   wearable technology   /   digital health   /   user interfaces and engagement   /   product innovation   /   behaviour change   /   human centred design   /    mathematical modelling   /   machine learning   /   signal processing   /   natural language processing   /   bioengineering   /   neurofeedback
We also welcome attendees with clinical research backgrounds in the challenge areas of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, neurorehabilitation and functional neurological disorder/paroxysmal neurological events.

On Day 1, the three challenge themes will be presented by the nominating stakeholder. Researchers will work collaboratively in a hackathon style on the challenge(s) that most interest them to co-create innovative solutions. By the end of the event, teams will present their solution to date and receive feedback from the room. 

Following the event, the newly formed collaborative groupings will be invited to submit light-touch proposals to N-CODE for follow on pump-priming funding of up to £40,000 per project. This pump-priming funding will enable the development of pilot data or prototypes suitable for publication and application for significant onward funding.

Study Groups are a well-established method to seed new collaborations between diverse stakeholders and academia, leading to unexpected new insights and lasting collaborations, as well as to outcomes such as publications, patents and grant funding to further develop partnerships.

For those unfamiliar with Study Groups, examples of challenges proposed at the 2023 N-CODE Study Group and updates on the projects funded can be found here. 

Registration:

The cost for the 4 day event, including all accommodation and catering, is £150 per person, or £75 for PhD students.  

The event is being held at the Telford Hotel Spa & Golf Resort, overlooking the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge in scenic Shropshire. Participants will have access to all the hotel’s amenities including the pool, health club, driving range, golf course and spa, all set-in inspirational countryside. Located in the heart of the country, there is easy access by rail via Telford Central station, or by car via the M54 and M6 with free onsite parking.  

For any queries, please see the ‘FAQs’ section below or contact Dr Rebecca Ward, N-CODE Network Manager, on ncode@contacts.bham.ac.uk.  

The deadline for applications is 16:00 (GMT) on Thursday 28th March 2024 

FAQs

Study Groups are a well-established method to seed new collaborations between stakeholders and academia, leading to unexpected new insight and outcomes, such as publications, patents and significant onward funding to develop partnerships. 

The three challenge themes have been selected and these will be presented to the full group on the first day. Participants then divide into self-selecting teams to focus on tackling the challenge utilising a hackathon style approach. 

The group work occupies most of the time throughout the rest of the event, and the challenge proposers usually stay in the groups, to answer questions and be involved in the discussions. Around the midpoint of the event, each group will present their progress so far, and raise any outstanding problems. This provides an opportunity for others to provide input and may motive some people to swap groups. Finally, on the last morning, each group provides a longer presentation on the work their group has done to scope out a solution to the challenge, and how this can be taken forward. 

The event is being organised by N-CODE, an EPSRC-funded Network Plus based at the University of Birmingham. It will be chaired by Professor John Terry from the University of Birmingham who is the PI for N-CODE.  

To contact N-CODE, please email the Network Manager at ncode@contacts.bham.ac.uk 

Three themes of Challenges will be addressed:  

  1. Using technology to improve the diagnostic accuracy of cognitive assessments for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease (PAD)  
  2. Developing inclusive and remote outpatient neurorehabilitation services through the use of digital technology, mathematical modelling and machine learning 
  3. Supporting differential diagnosis and supporting neurotechnological solutions for management of FND and paroxysmal neurological events  

We anticipate that the solutions to the challenges of unmet need will be in the field of digital health, or other home-based neurotechnologies using approaches built around neural interfacing, signal processing, machine learning and mathematical modelling as enabling technologies. We are looking for mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers and innovators to help us co-create the solutions 

Yes, we welcome researchers from any relevant organisation to the event.  

Yes. Our event will also combine the principal of a sandpit and make funding available in the immediate aftermath to enable promising ideas to be pump primed rapidly. Newly formed collaborative teams will submit a light touch application to the network for funding of up to £40K per project.   

Collaborative teams will agree a principal investigator (PI) and co-investigators (Co-I). PIs need to be based within an organisation eligible to receive UKRI funding. The University of Birmingham will establish a collaborative research contract with the PI’s host institution which enable the transfer of the funding necessary for the project, based on UKRI terms and conditions. It will be the responsibility of the PI to co-ordinate any additional contracts with Co-Is and their institutions. 

IP for the projects will be agreed as per UKRI (EPSRC) terms and conditions.

Attendees will travel to Telford on Monday 15th April and check-in at The Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort for a 1200 start 

The event will formally start on the afternoon of Monday 15th April. Three themes of challenges have been selected and these will be presented to the full group. Participants then divide into self-selecting teams to focus on tackling the challenge of most interest utilising a hackathon-style approach working in groups in partnership with the challenge presenters. 

The group work occupies most of the time throughout the rest of the week, and the challenge proposers usually stay in the groups, to answer questions and be involved in the discussions.  

Around the midpoint of the event on Wednesday morning, each group will present their progress so far, and raise any outstanding problems. This provides an opportunity for others to provide input and may motivate some people to swap groups.  

Finally, on the morning of Thursday 18th April, each group provides a longer more detailed presentation on the work their group has done to scope out a solution to the challenge, and how this can be taken forward. At the end of the Study Group, each group prepares a summary report of the work done during the week which will be published on the N-CODE website. Groups can also apply for pump funding from N-CODE following the event through a light-touch process.

The Telford Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort, Sutton Heights, Telford, Shropshire, TF7 4DT: https://www.telfordhotelgolfresort.co.uk/  

Monday 15th April – Thursday 18th April 2024  

If you require accommodation for the three nights alongside attendance at the event (including breakfast, lunch and dinner) the cost is £150 for everyone, except PhD students, for who it is £75. 

Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided for the attendees selecting the accommodation option. 

If you live locally and don’t wish to stay at the hotel, please let us know. 

Directions to the hotel are available on their website here: https://www.telfordhotelgolfresort.co.uk/about-us/find-us/  

Participants need to arrange their own travel to the hotel.  

The Telford Hotel, Golf and Spa resort includes an 18-hole golf course, relaxing spa and health club (including swimming pool) on site. It is based on the doorstep of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ironbridge Gorge. The pool and health club facilities are included within the stay and bookings for spa treatments or golf can be made directly with the hotel for an additional fee. Each player must have their own set of golf clubs.   

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