A few months ago I wrote in this blog post that a funding application, where I represented Örebro University as one of the co-applicants, had been submitted to Vinnova (Sweden’s government agency for innovation). And guess what, the project got funded! The name of the project is “Virtual environments supporting group work between sighted and visually impaired pupils”, and as the name suggests we will work closely with visually impaired and sighted pupils (as well as teachers) to develop new virtual learning environments that support collaboration a lot better than today’s special equipment used by visually impaired pupils in schools. My former supervisor at the Royal Institute of Technology, Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander is the project leader and Örebro University, Axess Lab (a company division focusing on digital accessibility from numerous perspectives), The Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired and The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM) are the other project partners. I will introduce the other project members and write more about the project as soon as press releases have been published by the Royal Institute of Technology and Örebro University.
This project is very special to me for several reasons. First and foremost, this is the very first time I have been contributing extensively to a project application that has resulted in external funding. Writing these kinds of applications requires a lot of work and collaboration between researchers and other stakeholders and it feels great when the efforts finally pay off! I’m also very happy about that I’m now able to focus more on the research field “IT and learning” again. It was quite a while ago that I worked on multimodal learning environments. The research area is really important and I’m glad that Vinnova has acknowledged that. Another reason why this project is special to me is that I started to work on the application shortly after I had started working as an assistant professor at Örebro University – one of the very first things I did within the scope of my new position actually resulted in external research funding! I think this is a very good start for me and I’m really excited about this new project.
If you want to read a short summary of the project, you can visit this page where Vinnova has published some short descriptions about the purpose, approach and expected results. I will write more in a later blog post as soon as I have some university press releases to link to. So stay tuned! 🙂
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