IT Innovation Challenges 2019 round: shortlisted ideas

Having received 59 ideas in this year’s round of the IT Innovation Challenges, the judges have now selected the most promising ideas to go on to the next stage of the selection process. Idea creators are now asked to write a project proposal explaining their project idea in detail and providing information on how to implement the idea.

They will pitch their idea to a panel of experts from across the University in March (GLAM Labs) and May (staff and student challenge) respectively. After the pitch, the panel will decide on the final selection of projects that will receive funding to realise their idea.

The shortlist below (in no particular order) indicates the great variety of exciting ideas submitted this year:

GLAM Labs (staff and student)

  • Replicating Historic Musical Instruments – testing the accuracy of 3D printouts of historic musical instruments
  • Project Dastaan – Historical Reconstruction through VR – piloting VR exhibits on the Indian Partition in the Ashmolean Museum
  • Bod-day cards/GLAM Birthday Cards – allowing digital audiences to create a customised video birthday card for a friend or loved one using the museum collection
  • Exploring new technologies as a tool for collaborative gallery interpretation – working collaboratively with community groups and artists / creatives to experiment with the creative use of new technologies in the Ashmolean’s Ancient Near East gallery
  • Mapping playful spaces in the Museum – using social data to examine how visitors engage with Oxford’s museums to understand visitor engagement
  • Whispering Windows and Noisy Bones – drawing on sounds to deepen the visitor experience of objects and galleries

Four projects are joining into two teams to  work collaboratively on the project proposal:

  • Developing staff coding skills and delivering computer enhanced GLAM exhibits and outreach using the Micro:Bit and Raspberry Pi
  • Digital makers – piloting digital making activities for families and young people


  • Using VR to understand to learn at the amazing beauty of the micro world – allowing visitors to ‘virtually’ shrink down to tiny scales to allow them to explore small museum objects
  • A physical and digital show and tell – creating a portable ‘station’ for use in the museum galleries to present both tactile models / 3D prints and digital assets of museum objects

IT Innovation Challenges (staff)

  • The Student Bubble – providing a safe, digital space for students to find new friends, join groups and discover events
  • Peer Support Programme Wall of Faces – creating a virtual Peer Support Wall of Faces to replace the paper posters currently advertising the existing Peer Support Teams
  • Bibliographic and Publication Data Visualisation Services to University Researchers – developing a method for producing bibliographic and publication based visualisations, showing links between Oxford researchers and other institutions
  • Interactive Library Floor Plans – building a tool to help libraries create their own web-based interactive floor plan with minimal effort or technical skills
  • Multi-Media Resource – Women in Oxford University: Past and Present – an interactive, digital resource for exploring the role of woman at Oxford
  • Better Research Ethics Application Process – improving the way ethics applications are completed and processed using Oracle Policy Administration

Summer of Innovation (student)

  • Open source code for developing museum/history-teaching apps – developing an open-source, free-to-use app to teach history through a combination of text, audio, and 3D models
  • The XXFactor – creating a portal for the podcast series ‘The XX Factor’ which will feature open conversations with Oxford-based, female academics and the challenges they face

Please follow the links above to learn more about the project ideas (using your Oxford email address to register to the Oxford Ideas platform).

The  projects selected for funding will be announced on this blog after the pitch has been completed.

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