Previous Calls

Bringing the Archive to Life

Call for Expressions of Interest

Premise: Tourists attending Edinburgh’s Festivals on an ongoing basis or for the first time do so not necessarily on the basis of that year’s programme but rather on the attraction of the festivals brand, with that brand being in essence the accumulated impact of the Festivals’ annual programmes. Thus the unlocking of past programme history could be a useful mechanism of re-enforcing brand perception, deepening audience knowledge and thus driving further cultural tourism to Edinburgh’s Festivals.

Background: Since 2011 the Edinburgh Festivals have maintained an open data endpoint to provide an Application Programming Interface (API) for events-based data relating to Edinburgh’s 12 major festivals. The API is a gateway between third-party applications and festival data, providing year round access to the listings, which go live between 1 and 6 months prior to a festival. For the Festivals, the key benefit is the benefit of making event listings accessible to a wider variety of users including media and developers. Two years of data are currently available from the current API and following a full procurement process an Edinburgh-based SME has been appointed to build on the existing work with the aim of developing additional functionality for a resilient, cloud-based infrastructure in partnership with the Edinburgh Festivals team. 

It is proposed that under the auspices of the SMART Tourism project, the Edinburgh Festivals API is developed from a purely contemporary media service vehicle into an ‘historic’ listings interface as well. Four key elements would form the basis of such a development:

  1. Digital Digging: rather than attempting at this stage to digitise the entire festivals programme archive, we would seek to ‘dig’ out existing digital sources which could be easily aligned with the Festival API and such sources could be:  2012/13 Festivals Listings;   2009 listings from The List;  Individual festivals which have digitised content [eg Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival]. We may also take a decision to undertake specific digitisation to aid the project, with possible focus on either a particular year for all festivals [eg 1991 being the birth of the world wide web] or the birth year of each festival.
  2. Text Mining: undertake a process of deriving high-quality information from text available in the API, being essentially the devising of patterns and trends through such text mining tasks as text categorisation, text clustering, concept/entity extraction, production of granular taxonomies, sentiment analysis, document summarisation, and entity relation modeling (i.e., learning relations between named entities). The overarching goal would be, essentially, to turn text into data for analysis, via application of natural language processing (NLP) and analytical methods.
  3. Fact Excavation: Building on from the previous ‘mining’ exercise we would seek to develop a novel user interface which presents interesting discovered facts about the festivals to those attending events, possibly through geo-located twitter feeds updates and/or using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) (this being a method of displaying information (generally text or images) in which the text is displayed word-by-word in a fixed focal position) to create additional layers of content discoverability for audiences and attendees.
  4. Open Casting: Making the collated data available via the continued and extended provision of the open data to allow the developer community to ‘play’ with the data in whatever way they feel suitable, noting that the Edinburgh Festivals were responsible for the first ever Culture Hack event in Scotland and opportunities for this type of interaction provides some strong possibilities in the future.

It would be great to see progress in advance of the peak August festivals period. However with a longer development period, we would propose to spend a longer period in the initial digital digging phase in order to create a more fully formed prototype over the final year of Smart Tourism. We therefore invite expressions of interest (details below) from members of the SICSA community to conduct innovation projects addressing these rural tourism challenges. Successful EoIs will then be invited to work with the Smart Tourism and dot.rural teams to developed their innovation project plan. SICSA academics should be aware that the total funding available for an project in this call is c. £42k at 100% FEC, that's roughly a Grade 6 RA for 6 months; of this, up to £33.6k (80% FEC) can be claimed from SFC funds, the rest absorbed by the HEI. If needs be, the project could take place over a longer period than 6 months.

Expression of Interest Format: The EoI should be presented on a single side of A4, and must cover the following points: 

  • Who are the academic team? [at least one of the Smart Tourism PIs should be involved] 
  • Who would the partners be [including SME(s)]? 
  • What is the context/problem? 
  • What is your idea and outline workplan? 
  • What are the potential impacts? 
Expressions of interest should be mailed to sicsa-smart-tourism@sicsa.ac.uk by 30 April. 

Evaluation & Decisions: Expressions of interest will be assessed by the academic PIs according to their novelty and complementarity to other Smart Tourism investments. Decisions (including feedback where appropriate) will be communicated to the main contact for each EoI within two weeks of the deadline for submission. 

Schedule of call deadlines and decision making 
  • Submission date for EOI applications – 30 April 
  • Submissions then reviewed by PIs, and up to 2 selected for further development or commissioning 
  • Decisions and feedback – mid-May 
  • Completion date for full proposals – end-May 
  • Selection Panel decides funding for full proposals – end-June 
Further information about SICSA Smart Tourism can be found at http://www.smarttourism.org/ 

Smart Tourism - Mind the Gaps

Call for Expressions of Interest

Premise: The Smart Tourism programme has reached the end of its second year; it has funded a range of projects addressing the needs of our problem holders using various know-how and techniques across academia and the SME community.  But we haven't covered all the bases by a long chalk. So, we'd like to invite teams to come forward with projects that specifically complement or synthesise the projects that have gone before.

Background: So far, we have developed 10 projects on the core Smart Tourism programme. They are as follows.

  1. The  Shape  of  the  Festivals and ...
  2. Navigating  the  Festivals (University  of  Glasgow,  Edinburgh  Festivals  Innovation  Lab). Scoped a set of issues around Festival visitor activity, and prototyped an app to support people collaborating around planning and remembering artistic events.
  3. LADDIE (University  of  St  Andrews, Advanced  Display  Solutions  Ltd,  Historic  Scotland). Developing robust interactive displays on potentially remote visitor attractions.
  4. SMART: Scotland's  Museums  Augmented  Reality  Tourism (University  of  St  Andrews,  Interface3,  MUSA). Bringing undisplayed objects to the museum visitor. 
  5. Historical  Echoes (Edinburgh  Napier  University,  Historic  Scotland,  Veemee  Ltd). Using audio-augmented reality to guide visitors to points of interest.
  6. Living  History (Robert  Gordon Univ,  Historic  Scotland,  Ambiesense  Ltd). Near field communications to deliver information at unstaffed sites.
  7. MINERVA (Glasgow  University,  Cereproc  Ltd,  Interpretative  Media,  Glasgow  City  Council,  East  Dumbartonshire  Leisure  & Culture  Trust). Audio-augmented reality and game app, reconnecting remote sites and objects in museums.
  8. CURIOS  Mobile (University  of Aberdeen, Bluemungus  Ltd,  Hebridean  Connections). Semantic web for tailored cultural information in rural areas.
  9. SUMMIT (Heriot-­‐Watt  University,  Visit  Fort  William Ltd). Gamifying the hillwalking experience to attract customers to visit rural businesses.
  10. Beyond  the  edge  of  the  Internet - QRAQRBox (St  Andrews  University,  Historic  Scotland,  STAnza). Self-contained, self-powered information servers in remote places.

There are also 3 associated projects with a particular interest in 3D scanning and visitor experiences: 

  • My-­Museum (Relicarte,  Edinburgh Design Informatics, Museums). 
  • Rosslyn  Chapel app (Historic  Scotland,  Glasgow  Digital  Design  Studio,  University of Edinburgh)
  • Pixogram (Edinburgh Design  Informatics,  Edinburgh World Heritage)
So, we have quite a bit of work exploring augmented realities, and access to information in remote sites. Can we synthesise these, to meet needs and build businesses? Or can we meet a very different need, in area of analytics and market intelligence? To help meet this challenge, we aim to fund at most two ideas (on this round), through our Innovation Projects and Challenge Fellowships, which typically fund up to £40k of activities over 6 months. We now invite expressions of interest (details below) from members of the SICSA community describing either projects or fellowships which will develop or test out potentially disruptive innovations in the technology for tourism space. 

How to apply 

The EoI should be presented on a single side of A4, and must cover the following points: 
  • Who are the academic team? [at least one of the Smart Tourism PIs should be involved] 
  • Who would the partners be [including SME(s)]? 
  • What is the context/problem? 
  • What is your idea and outline workplan? [Especially, explain how it is fills a gap] 
  • What are the potential impacts? [Especially, explain how it helps build business] 
Expressions of interest should be mailed to sicsa-smart-tourism@sicsa.ac.uk by 30 April.

Evaluation & Decisions: Expressions of interest will be assessed by the academic PIs according to their novelty and complementarity to other Smart Tourism investments. Decisions (including feedback where appropriate) will be communicated to the main contact for each EoI within two weeks of the deadline for submission. 

Schedule of call deadlines and decision making 

  • Submission date for EOI applications – 30 April
  • Submissions then reviewed by PIs, and up to 2 selected for further development or commissioning
  • Decisions and feedback – mid-May
  • Completion date for full proposals – end-May
  • Selection Panel decides funding for full proposals – end-June