The Studio for International Media & Technology (SIMT) is a creative technology centre at the University of Salford.
It connects the School of Arts & Media with the School of Computer Sciences & Engineering to conduct research into new technologies and methods of production, and produces both digital tools and creative outputs.
The Studio supports interdisciplinary collaborations through projects that bridge the gap between industry and academia.
Drawing on staff and student expertise in digital media, design, computing, software development and human-media interaction, The Studio for International Media and Technology explores new applications of emerging technologies, and provides a platform to showcase and discuss its work.
The Digital & Creative ICZ (Industry Collaboration Zone) is one of four strategic programmes that has been pioneered to develop exceptional partnerships between the University of Salford and industry.
The Studio for International Media & Technology represents the footprint of this zone and is based at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus. It connects to the University’s other campuses through links with laboratories and studios in: the School of Computer Science & Engineering, the School of the Built Environment, and the School of Arts & Media.
ICZs provide unique environments in which the University’s researchers, staff, students and industry partners can collaborate, co-create and co-produce multidisciplinary projects that solve global challenges.
Alongside the Digital & Creative ICZ are zones for Sport, Health & Wellbeing, and Engineering & Environment. Individual zones will not function in isolation; instead they will offer permeable, flexible spaces for innovation and experimentation.
Interdisciplinary teams, comprised of students and advised by staff, will research and develop multimedia content about the University’s current work with industry. They will develop concepts for stories, create original content, and manage the production of that content, with student project managers working across multiple teams.
The teams will have a diverse set of media production skills, including: film, TV and radio production; photography; graphic and communication design; computer and video games development; audio and sound design; and journalism.
Staff advisors (from the the Studio and ICZs) will support the students and set the scope and objectives for projects, while Deans, Directors, Heads of Departments and academic staff will provide expert consultation.
In partnership with The Landing, the Studio for International Media & Technology will develop hacker competitions for teams of students from the University of Salford and other institutions. Digital SMEs will provide prototype technology for competitors to modify and enhance. The first challenge will require teams to create media management interfaces for a residential media storage and display system. This will require teams to have skills and experience in UX, back-end development, and media management design and development.
Students at the University of Salford are key to the future of media production and new media platforms – in 2015, 1/5 of the BBC’s intake for its training programme came from Salford graduates. To explore opportunities to engage with, and exchange ideas between academia and industry, the Studio for International Media & Technology is working with BBC Design and Engineering to facilitate a series of casual meet-ups, where students can work with prototypes of digital and mobile technologies.
The Studio is working with The Lowry during the development of their Metropolis project, which explores the idea of a future city and the impact of technology on urban communities. Together with The Lowry’s production partner, London’s Southbank Centre, the Studio for International Media & Technology will conduct a series of workshops to foster creative ideation and develop digital performances, which will later be integrated into the project’s suite of creative outputs.
The Studio is partnering with Republic of Things, a north west-based start-up and the leading Internet of Things (IoT) company in the UK. The partnership will allow students, lecturers and others to develop their own IoT projects, enabling them to tap in to an emerging worldwide trend which, according to McKinsey, will have an estimated global market value of $6.2 trillion by 2025.
At its core, IoT is about connecting multiple devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications and each other. The concept is set to drive change and innovation in a range of sectors from automotive to financial services, energy to healthcare, retail to agriculture, and many more.
Through this partnership, students and lecturers will develop IoT applications and services in a ‘living lab’ environment. This will allow the potential for research in a number of areas, including: law and politics (around issues of privacy and security); sociology (the impact of pervasive sensing); health, welfare and social policy (the digitisation of health and social care provision), the built environment (the evolution of building information modelling systems and smart cities) and business and economics (analysing the commercial and economic impact of IoT on new and existing markets).
MediaCityUK is home to industry leaders and SME innovators who have a shared interest for the future of the digital industries. As such, our MediaCityUK campus is ideally positioned to provide a space for businesses and creatives to discuss and discover future-facing topics. The Studio is establishing a consortium that will plan activities for people to connect and share ideas. This will include a speaker series and technology demonstrations.
The Studio has established partnerships with universities around the world through its pilot project, Global Digital Cities. Participants in this project include: Beijing Film Academy, China; Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, China; Sogang University, South Korea; Multimedia University, Malaysia; and Columbia College Chicago, US.
This partnership has, and continues to enable university students and staff to collaborate on the production of interactive multimedia installations that document the space and culture of major urban centres.
In addition, the consortium shares a research software platform for testing creative applications of web-based semantic computing, cloud-computing and interactive storytelling. The Studio is hosting delegations of students and staff from partner universities at a summer workshop in MediaCityUK
The Studio for International Media & Technology has a central base at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus. From here, it connects to national and international organisations and the University’s wider campus. Its MediaCityUK base provides a space for introductions, discussions and planning sessions with industry, and enables collaborative opportunities with the University’s academic programmes. A publically accessible space will be developed to showcase ongoing projects and partnerships. This space will feature interactive presentations and demonstrations of the Studio’s work.
Octave is a bespoke, world-class virtual reality facility located in Newton building on the University’s main campus. It provides fully configurable, immersive, holographic experiences that engage with sight, sound and touch, and can bring people and objects from around the world together in a single virtual reality. A virtual link between the Octave and the Studio, via MediaCityUK’s Egg Suite, will enable shared, real-time interaction with telepresence, simulated environments and data visualisation.
The New Adelphi building is the new home of the University of Salford’s School of Arts & Media. A number of studios at New Adelphi will have digital devices that are compatible with facilities at MediaCityUK, and students will engage in projects that are sponsored by the Studio. A dedicated network of data exchanges will support virtually-enabled workflows between the two sites, allowing for experimentation and pedagogy in creative and technological practices.
THINKlab is the School of Built Environment’s industry-facing digital technology competent centre that creates advanced digital platforms for sectors including the built environment, engineering, health, and creative media
It has a track record of managing large-scale interdisciplinary research projects and delivering bespoke solutions to industry. It also has extensive experience of working with industry partners to understand their business challenges and produce technology-based solutions that enhance their creativity, efficiency and competitiveness.
The Studio is collaborating with THINKlab to develop a set of telepresence tools that will allow people to work simultaneously on a single project when they are based in different locations. This project will allow the Studio to pilot the virtual and collaborative work practices that will be used in the University’s Industry Collaboration Zones.
The Engineering Showcase, led by the School of Computer Science and Engineering, provides a space for students and staff to explore digital fabrication: a process of creating digital models and rendering these as physical objects using robotics. Its infrastructure and many of its current and anticipated projects compliment the work of the Studio. The making of prototypes that combine digital devices with everyday objects makes an essential contribution to the emerging global trend, the Internet of Things. As the Engineering Showcase becomes operational, it will collaborate with the Studio on a variety of digital and design projects.
The Studio for International Media & Technology will host a series of workshops, conferences, symposia and informal meet ups around three key themes of research, industry development and curriculum innovation.
Information about upcoming events will be added to this page in due course. If you’d like to be notified by email when new events are added, please enter your details below.
Professor Robin Bargar (School of Arts & Media and School of Computing Sciences & Engineering)
Professor Insook Choi (School of Arts & Media)
Lorena Gomez (Salford Business School)