The Realise project held its Transferability Workshop on June 7th at the University of Southampton in Building 32. Thirty brave souls, all experts in their own fields accepted our invitation. (Word doc download) We are incredibly grateful for their time and energy as the day was spent discussing elements of the REALISE market place, its use, community involvement and improvements that could be made to ensure its sustainability. There were five groups of six, each table taking on different ideas with the notion that they could become open innovation projects thanks to community involvement, mentoring and online guidance. But what of the transferability!
“Transferability refers to the degree to which the results of qualitative research can be generalized or transferred to other contexts or settings.” (Research Methods Knowledge Base) With this in mind those attending the workshop came from different sectors of both education and health with links to assistive technology (AT). Experts came from the two regions of Southampton and Sheffield as well as other parts of the country. There were several individuals from other universities and organisations already involved with open innovation projects such as the JISC funded ‘Rave in Context‘ (Oxford University) and the Widget Design Authoring Toolkit (WIDGaT) (Teeside University). Plus those from three companies who are members of the British Assistive Technology Association with developers from the NHS, education and business such as TDM
Attendees came from Devices for Dignity who have been involved with the project from the outset along with colleagues from Sheffield 50+ and REMAP (Southampton) and Paxton Crafts Charitable Trust providing the open source Straight Street Mulberry symbol system added their user knowledge to the discussions. Our critical friend Nigel Spencer from the British Library mentioned his EU funded Open innovation project about ‘Working with others to make new ideas fly’ and Andy Heath brought his experience of the EU4ALL project to the table.
The discussions topped the 100 decibel level at times and the team had to keep a strong handle on the time table to allow for a few speaking slots! Punam Khosla from TechDis talked about her BCE and Stakeholder work and ACUMEN work with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), which was mentioned at our last Support and Synthesis group meeting. Dr Nasser Siabi as CEO of MicrolinkPC talked about his work with open source tools in South Africa and the transfer of applications such as ATbar to other sectors such as employment and charitable organisations e.g. Fix the Web.
The team also had the support of two researchers to collect data and recordings of the hands-on sessions around ideas, incubation and projects which each ended with a little form filling to provide feedback. Points of importance were mentioned in whispered tones by Will Allen to some us seeking advice and networking was well underway in the intervals. The plan for the day, questionnaires plus results were made available on paper and as a set of slides (download .ppt) at the end of the day. We have to thank Peter Cudd for this output, Lauren for organising all the food plus all those who came from near and far to make it an amazingly useful day for us all. Thank you very much.