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Research and Development with NTU

Discover more about our Research capabilities at NTU in conjunction with Strategic Partnerships

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is recognised for the quality of its research and practical relevance. Commercial organisations can benefit from the knowledge of NTU’s academic experts who have the required skills, industry background and project experience to help boost your profitability, efficiency and innovation.

Health and Wellbeing

The challenges we face in healthcare are multifaceted – they cannot be solved by researchers working in isolation. In the Health and Wellbeing Research theme, we bring together experts from different disciplines to address these challenges and shape the future of healthcare.

We have created four interlinked research hubs that combine expertise to explore healthy development, ageing and the pathologist that influence disease. These are:

  • Structure and function of Biological Systems
  • Healthy living and social aspects of health and wellbeing
  • Health management, patient safety, policy and practice
  • Healthcare ethics and medical law
  • Objectives

    • Undertake inclusive, engaging, exciting, innovative, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in materials and medical technologies supported by the disciplinary breadth and intellectual depth of staff at NTU.
    • Engage with international research groups, healthcare providers, commercial organisations and government organisations to build strategic partnerships with the international research community, agencies and stakeholders that will influence, advocate and support the invention, innovation, application and testing of new materials and technologies.
    • Develop innovative cross-disciplinary research-led practical education, professional training and specialist courses for academic and non-academic beneficiaries.
    • Be visible globally, expanding our global reputation.
    • Increase research activity and research power by generating external funding.
    • Provide the academic research invention and innovation pipeline to deliver MTIF.

  • Research areas

    • Biomedical, Life and Health Sciences Research Centre
    • Centre for Health, Ageing and Understanding Disease (CHAUD)
    • Centre for People, Work and Organisational Practice
    • Groups, Identities and Health Research Group
    • Social Work and Health Research Group
    • Trauma, Social Isolation and Mental Health (TSIMH) Research Group
    • Wellbeing Research Group
    • Vision, Optics and Sensory Systems Centre (VOSS) (Emerging)

  • Facilities and equipment

    • The John van Geest Research Centre
    • Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Facility
    • Natural Sciences Research Facility
    • Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Centre
    • Psychology Laboratories
    • Transmission Electron Microscopy
    • Scanning Electron Microscopy
    • Confocal Microscopy
    • MRI
    • ELISA and Antibody technologies
    • Mass Spectrometer
    • Micro bacterial analysis

  • Example of projects

  • Case study

    Development of Bioinformatics Techniques Leads to Biomarker Discovery and Realisation of Commercial Potential

    This research, led by Professor Graham Ball, has developed new bioinformatics techniques for mining complex post genomic bio-profile data. The approach allows the development of predictive models to answer clinical questions using an optimum biomarker panel. The findings of the research mean that the prognosis for women with breast cancer could be better predicted in future. The impact of this work is demonstrated in the filing of four patents associated with algorithms, breast cancer and tuberculosis, subsequently licensed to a spin-out company. Three clinical trials have been supported and others are in the pipeline. Through the spin-out company the technique is being applied to stratify patients in clinical collaborations and to optimise biomarker panels for diagnostics companies.

    The area of biomarker discovery has seen significant developments over the last 10 years and the team at NTU continues to offer unique and leading approaches in the field. Novel non-linear approaches have been applied to the identification of biomarkers, from complex genomic data, addressing clinical questions such as prognosis and response to therapy. These biomarkers have subsequently been validated using immunohistochemical techniques and applied in clinical practice and decision making.

    Clinical collaboration with Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has identified biomarkers of proliferation and prognosis in breast cancer. These have been used to re-define the Nottingham Prognostic Index (NPI) allowing a more accurate prediction of prognosis for the individual. The most influential marker predicts response to Anthracycline and the set has been successfully evaluated as predictive using immunohistochemistry. This approach has been used by multi-disciplinary teams in clinical decision making and to evaluate prognosis in medico-legal cases, and it has influenced decisions around patient care and stratification. In addition, the approaches developed have been used in identifying markers associated with a wide range of clinical groups across further clinical conditions.

    Read more about this case study

Safety and Security of Citizens and Society (SSCS)

Our aim is to enhance the breadth, reach and significance of research that helps secure and protect individuals, communities and societies by improving our understanding of the factors that influence safety and security, developing technologies that enhances our ability to protect and secure people in a range of contexts and changing policy and practice to enable these technologies to be applied to improve the lives of people across the world.

Our work is organized under three interconnected, interdisciplinary sub-themes, with many colleagues working across more than one sub-theme. These are:

  • Reduction and prevention of crime, risk and harm;
  • Social inclusion, community engagement and the protection of vulnerable people;
  • Safety and security technology.
  • Objectives

    • To promote and expand interdisciplinary research on Safety and Security of Citizens and Society;
    • To identify and invest in areas of existing research excellence that fall under the Theme;
    • To foster, develop and invest in interdisciplinary research on safety and security that capitalises on expertise and resources of researchers and research groups that contribute to research under the Theme;
    • To develop new and strengthen existing regional, national and international collaborations with academic, public, private and third sector partners in order to develop impactful research that benefits people, communities and societies;
    • To support established and mid-careers researchers in developing innovative research programmes with national and international reach;
    • To support early career researchers, post-doctoral researchers and PhD students in career development by active mentoring through assistance in providing feedback to draft outputs, draft grant applications and inviting them to participate in collaborative research programs led by senior investigators.

  • Research areas

    Reduction and prevention of crime, risk and harm

    This sub-theme focuses on the control of crime, and the minimisation of the harm and damage caused by crime on individuals and society. It draws on perspectives and work from every angle, from victim to perpetrator, prevention to rehabilitation and from individual experience to government and international policy. Building on a long tradition of intervention and prevention research at NTU this work addresses a range of criminal behaviour including lower level youth crime, theft and burglary, and sexual and violent crime.

    Social inclusion, community engagement and the protection of vulnerable people

    This sub-theme examines who, why and how individuals and groups are marginalised and excluded from society. The impact of social isolation on the safety and security of both the excluded and the community itself as well as interventions to reduce exclusion and protect vulnerable individuals and groups are addressed. The benefits of active citizenship, and of being and feeling part of a community are integral to this work and every stratum of citizenship from local through to global fall under the remit of the sub-theme.

    Safety and security technology

    The aim of this safety and security technology sub-theme is to promote the application of engineering, natural, physical and social sciences to technological advances in security and safety systems. This includes working with industry and other partners to develop new technology, refine and evaluate the impact of existing technology and to understand the human and social factors that influence the positive or negative impacts of technology on the safety and security of individuals, groups and societies.

  • Facilities and equipment

    • Crime Scene Training Facility
    • Legal Advice Centre
    • STI SIM Driving Simulator
    • Carnetsoft driving simulator
    • Honda Rider Trainer Motorcycle Simulator
    • SMI RED 500 eye tracker
    • SMI ETG Portable eye trackers x 2
    • HTC Vive VR headset within built in Tobii eye tracker

    Research Centres/ Groups

    • Accounting and Finance Research Group
    • Addiction and Aberrant Behaviours
    • Bullying and Aggressive Behaviours
    • Centre for Rights and Justice
    • Citizens, Parties and Political Action
    • Criminology Research
    • Emergency Services Research Unit (ESRU)
    • Inclusion, Diversity and Engagement
    • Insecurity, Political Violence and Change
    • Intellectual Property Research Group
    • International Security and Sustainability
    • Person Perception
    • Politics and International Relations
    • Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU)
    • Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement Research Centre
    • The International Gaming Research Unit (IGRU)
    • Transport Research in Psychology (TRiP)

  • Example of projects

  • Case study

    Crime drop, security and victimisation

    Research on criminology at NTU, led by Professor Andromachi Tseloni, has focused in particular on criminal victimisation inequalities and falling crime rates around the world. The research has:

    • Changed the way victimisation is conceptualised, measured, and reported in official crime surveys.
    • Transformed the methodological evaluation of the impact of security devices on crime and repeat victimisation.

    As well as having a significant impact in the United Kingdom, Professor Tseloni's research has achieved an international reach by influencing the work of crime reduction agencies in Australia, Israel, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the USA and Greece.

    Read more about this case study

Sustainable Futures

Sustainable development has been high on the global academic and policy agenda since the United Nations Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has a strong tradition of engagement in the topic across its research, teaching and estate, demonstrated by its high ranking over many years in the authoritative People and Planet University League Table: NTU was 3rd out of 154 universities in the 2017 rankings.

Discourse in this field of research is increasingly undertaken within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN). These incorporate a broad range of economic, environmental and social objectives. While all universities will engage in research that relates to these goals, NTU has chosen to align a specific strategic research theme, Sustainable Futures, to this agenda.

In order to ensure that Sustainable Futures research at NTU is clearly focussed, given the breadth of the theme, six research sub-themes have been selected in which we are able to demonstrate expertise and upon which we aim to advance our global reputation.  These are:

  • Ecosystem sustainability
  • Sustainable consumption and production
  • The built environment
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Behaviour, values and norms
  • Leadership, governance, participation and policy
  • Objectives

      Our overall aim is to consolidate and enhance the University’s international reputation in this field of research and specific objectives are set accordingly:

    • To promote and expand high quality, cross-disciplinary research in Sustainable Futures by offering support to researchers in order to create innovative, interdisciplinary and collaborative research proposals that generate external funding.
    • To consolidate and enhance key research strengths in Sustainable Futures and thereby facilitate the growth of Groups and Centres with a critical mass of expertise.
    • To develop collaborations, across the theme and with other themes, in order to increase funding potential and academic outputs and improve use of facilities.
    • To support cutting-edge projects that lead to significant advances in Sustainable Futures research across a broad range of disciplines, research communities and organisations, in both national and international contexts.
    • To strengthen collaboration with academic and industrial partners, both national and international, in order to identify and undertake novel, impact-driven research in Sustainable Futures.
    • To maximise the value of research outcomes through knowledge exchange with organisations outside academia, including industry, policy makers and third sector organisations.
    • To support researchers at all levels, including PhD students, in career development by actively providing peer support with outputs, grant applications and involvement in collaborative research programmes.

  • Facilities and equipment

  • Example of projects

  • Case study

    REMOURBAN City Demonstrator Project

    REMOURBAN is a major Future Cities demonstrator project, supported by a major EU Horizon 2020 investment (EU Lighthouse project scheme) for five years (2014-2019). EU Lighthouse projects will tackle issues at the intersection of the: (i) transport, (ii) energy and (iii) ICT sectors. The projects trigger strategic partnerships of innovation-driven companies from the three sectors acting across geographical borders. They forge strong partnerships with local leaders and municipal authorities to gain the vital support and visibility necessary to engage and empower citizens and local stakeholders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption and more widely to improve the urban environment.

    Read more about this case study

  • Research groups

    There are currently twelve research groups within which research related to Sustainable Futures is focused.

    • Research on Ecosystem Sustainability is primarily undertaken in Animal Behaviour, Performance and Welfare, Ecology and Conservation, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security, and Natural Environment.
    • Research on Sustainable Consumption and Production is primarily undertaken in Sustainable Consumption, the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Engineering Centre and Clothing Sustainability.
    • Research on the Built Environment is primarily undertaken in Innovative and Sustainable Built Environment Technologies, and Smart Heat Networks.
    • Research on Sustainable Mobility is primarily undertaken in Network Infrastructures and Emerging Technologies.
    • The two other sub-themes are crosscutting: the focus of Responsible and Sustainable Business is Behaviour, Values and Norms and that of the Centre for Marine Ecological Resilience and Geological Resources is Leadership, Governance, Participation and Policy.

    Research groups may be associated with one or more of the six sub-themes, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of Sustainable Futures and cross-School collaboration; often their research has behavioural or policy dimensions and is thus relevant to the two cross-cutting sub-themes. Similarly, research relating to sub-themes may be undertaken in several research groups; for example, research on sustainable mobility is undertaken in Sustainable Consumption as well as Network Infrastructures and Emerging Technologies. Moreover, Sustainable Futures researchers may have an interest in research groups other than those identified above, such as Citizens, Parties and Political Action, Development, Interaction and Social Relations, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials

NTU specialises in applied research, inventing and developing materials or working with groups with their own materials, inventions and technologies, then further developing, modifying, characterising and testing them, progressing them on to products making an impact in our everyday lives. There will not be one solution or technology that will address all the healthcare needs of mankind. A complex matrix of options are required to meet the personal needs of the patient in combination with the budget constraints of the healthcare provider. NTU already has multiple different technologies and expertise that can be used to unlock and discover efficacious and cost effective future medicines.

  • Objectives

    • Undertake inclusive, engaging, exciting, innovative, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in materials and medical technologies supported by the disciplinary breadth and intellectual depth of staff at NTU.
    • Engage with international research groups, healthcare providers, commercial organisations and government organisations to build strategic partnerships with the international research community, agencies and stakeholders that will influence, advocate and support the invention, innovation, application and testing of new materials and technologies.
    • Develop innovative cross-disciplinary research-led practical education, professional training and specialist courses for academic and non-academic beneficiaries.
    • Be visible globally, expanding our global reputation.
    • Increase research activity and research power by generating external funding.
    • Provide the academic research invention and innovation pipeline to deliver MTIF.

  • Facilities and equipment

    • Electrospinning facility
    • YAG Laser
    • Excimer Laser processing
    • Fibre coupled Diode Laser Module
    • Phenom ProX desktop scanning electron microscope
    • A cognitive modelling and visual analysis laboratory
    • A psychophysiological laboratory
    • A human communication and social interaction laboratory
    • Dedicated facilities to support research into computer gaming and cyber-psychology
    • EEG system
    • Fixed and mobile eye-tracking facilities
    • 1.5T Siemens Avanto MRI system
    • Medical Technologies Innovation Facility (estimated to open in 2020)

    Research Centres/ Groups

    • Cyberpsychology Research Group
    • Medical Design Research Group
    • Advanced Textiles
    • Bioinformatics and Biomathematics
    • Centre for Computer Science and Informatics
    • iSMART
    • Proteomics and Genomics

  • Example of projects

  • Case study

    Advanced Textiles Research Group (ATRG)

    The research at NTU in advanced textiles is having a significant impact on the health, sports, defence and fashion sectors. The IP of new technologies developed by the research group has been protected in five worldwide patents, demonstrating evidence of their impact.

    The broad scope of ATRG and its focus on fusing scientific, engineering and design disciplines to create novel and innovative electronically active smart textiles make their research internationally unique. The E-yarn technology developed by the group has provided a robust functionality that is resistant to wear, washing and drying and can be produced at lower costs than other electronic textiles where functionality is often added at the garment stage. As a result, the products from NTU research can have a significant impact on the production and use of electronic textiles in clothing applications.

    The research group's areas of work include:

    • Development of smart yarns by embedding semiconductor dice in yarns/ fibres.
    • Electronically-active textiles for medical applications.
    • Knitted, heated textiles.
    • Flexible fabric antennae for communication systems.
    • Breathable prosthetic liners for amputees.
    • Graduated compression garments for sports, rehabilitation, and the treatment of venous disease and lymphoedema.
    • Smart knitted structures for active moisture management.
    • Mimicry of living, biomechanical structures and biological surrogate synthetics.
    • Surgical, trauma and implant training simulators and phantom modelling.

    Head of NTU Strategic Research Theme:

    John Hunt, Professor/ Head of NTU Strategic Research Theme.

Strategic Partnerships at NTU

We play a leading role in the social, cultural, economic and environmental development of the City, East Midlands and United Kingdom.

We deploy our resources and expertise in close alignment with strategic partners and engage with a wide range of organisations in order to enhance their prospects and those of our students.

Contact our team:

Strategic Partnerships

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Strategic Partnerships