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Bristol wins bid to build a new learning landscape

Press release issued: 10 August 2001

Bristol wins bid to build a new learning landscape

A Bristol-based consortium, led by Bristol University, has won the bid to host the FutureLab - a blue-sky creative research initiative which aims to inspire an entirely new approach to educational software that could help transform the learning landscape. The project was developed by NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) and is receiving support from Department for Education and Skills (DfES) who have committed £3 million of start-up funding.

The emergence of Broadband technology will provide many opportunities and challenges for UK companies working in the learning software industry. Harnessing the talents and expertise that already exist, FutureLab will aim to create imaginative and compelling prototypes of learning software and services based on interactive digital technology. These would take the form of online services, interactive television, Broadband, internet, DVDs, games console software and mobile services.

These products will not only provide long-term benefits for creative talent in the UK and for its commercial success but will also boost independent creative learning for a wide range of students, from primary education to life-long learning.

The Bristol bid was selected from 14 potential sites from around the UK. The consortium will be based at the Watershed Media Centre, a riverfront location in the centre of the city, and will work closely with Bristol based-companies such as Aardman Animation, Hewlett Packard, BBC Bristol and @Bristol and have a mandate to forge partnerships right across the UK. The aim is to launch FutureLab in the Autumn to key stakeholders.

Lord Puttnam CBE, Chair of NESTA, said: "It is entirely fitting that Bristol have won this important bid. The city is renowned for pioneering leading edge technologies and is one of the most dynamic centres for the creative industries in the UK. With Bristol University's world class computer science and education teams, and with the University of the West of England's E-incubator next door, they are in a unique position to collaborate and build relationships with a wide range of partners.

With the considerable expertise the city can call upon there is no doubt that the dreams and aspirations of FutureLab will be turned into a reality. NESTA looks forward to working ever more closely with them to the benefit of generations of future students and learners of all ages."

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Friday, 10-Aug-2001 09:33:27 BST

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