Light Alloys Towards Environmentally Sustainable Transport: 2nd Generation (LATEST2)

Supplementary content information

group of people holding display boards

Objectives

The ‘Light alloys towards environmentally sustainable transport’ research group at The University of Manchester accepted Creativity@home funding so that they could identify the future strategic development of the research programme. They also aimed to strengthen the management team, whilst integrating creative idea generation and problem solving techniques throughout the life of the programme.

Activities

The group did a number of activities early in the life of the grant to reach their objectives. In an attempt to find strategic direction for their research, they organised a full day strategic workshop with the management team and a series of similar events with key external academic and industrial partners. Furthermore, a small cohort from the group including the Project Manager, Outreach Administrator, Programme Administrative Assistant and Research Fellow were all trained in facilitation techniques in the hope that the skills learnt could be incorporated through the life of the grant.

Another activity carried out by the group was an ‘outreach ideas generation workshop’ which gained the team a better understanding of the purpose and importance of outreach work, whilst allowing them to identify target audiences. A number of outreach activity ideas were consequently generated for various outreach audiences and areas of research.

Additional activities carried out by the group include a 24 hour Management Team communication and team building away day which helped integrate new team members and identify new ways of working more effectively together. Furthermore, there was a half day review of collaborative software environment solutions which explored a range of digital virtual world collaboration softwares and identified their limitations.

Outcomes

There have been numerous outcomes from the activities including the integration of new team members and a strengthening of the team as a whole. There has been a substantial review of the programme’s vision and objectives and an identification of key collaborations to facilitate delivery of the research objectives and any major hurdles to delivery. The exploration of the need for collaboration software identified the need for two systems which included the functions of virtual conferencing as well as a knowledge management & collaboration portal.

Again, the feedback from the group was extremely positive. “The team benefited greatly from this initiative and firmly believe that the payback of the Creativity@home initiative will stretch beyond the programme grant itself and into the future. We have all developed skills and a suitcase of techniques which will continue to be used to establish sustainable creative research and outreach directions. We believe Creativity@home will have a big positive impact on the future of the Programme.” – Professor George Thompson (Principal Investigator)