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Funding available to support PhD research into small business and cultural heritage interpretation partnerships in the Digital Economy
A team of Digital Economy members have just been awarded a Vice Chancellor’s Award to recruit a PhD student who is interested in researching this topic. A grant of £7K p.a. for 3 years (or pro rata for part time work) will be available to cover fees and contribute towards living costs. The project needs to begin before 1st December 2012.
This project provides an opportunity for the successful student to provide significant practical value to local heritage sites and representatives from the creative industries, while drawing upon multi-disciplinary academic perspectives such as:
- Digital marketing and online community development
- Innovation and creativity in high tech firms
- Visual communications
The successful applicant will develop a project to manage new digital communities around local heritage sites. The objective is to encourage visitors to engage more specifically with these sites and appreciate the stories they have to tell, by updating what are often rather old fashioned displays with creative applications of digital technologies. This might involve, for example, partnering with small businesses with expertise in augmented reality, virtual worlds, video, touch screens, mobile apps, serious gaming etc. Technologies such as motion capture allow sophisticated approaches to the 3D reconstruction of heritage sites, and when taken together with augmented reality applications, they provide new opportunities to enhance our understanding and appreciation of what living at these places must have been like for the benefit of both visitors and scholars.
The project will explore mechanisms for building industrial/ cultural heritage partnerships to increase footfall, improve visitor experience and engage new demographics. Southampton’s unique expertise at the interface of the web, design, HCI, marketing and innovation and cultural heritage will enable an innovative piece of work to be completed while stimulating new collaborative research across the faculties. The topic is one which has considerable public, industrial, academic and third sector impact potential.