New £13m Technology Hub to
house the UK's 1st super immersive 3D virtual environment
EDGE Hill University is set to unveil
the CAVE, the UK's 1st super immersive 3D virtual environment as part of its
new £13m Technology Hub.
The 4 screen CAVE (cave automatic virtual environment) will offer students and
businesses the chance to fully immerse themselves in a virtual room.
Using real data to replicate reality, users will be able to experience real life
scenarios in 4k resolution, anything from emergency situations to complex
surgery and lab reactions.
The CAVE is just one part of the low carbon building which has been built thanks
to £3m of support from the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Housing state of the art biotechnology laboratories, big data servers for
research and a Harvard style lecture theatre, the building will also house a
programmable child sized robot and giant 3D interactive teaching screens.
The Technology Hub aims to be a key resource not just for 600+ students but also
employers across Lancashire and beyond, including those in the food
manufacturing and digital creative industries.
A 'Tech Sandpit' will bring together students and business to discuss challenges
and ideas which can then be developed using expertise from across computer
science and biotechnology.
Budding entrepreneurs will also be able to tap into the skills and knowledge of
the University and local industry in 'The Hatchery', a working space for new
Mark Allanson, Pro Vice Chancellor at Edge Hill University, said:- "Having
this dedicated facility for technology shows the University's commitment to
technological innovation, computing and bioscience and reflects our success in
producing employable, highly skilled graduates who contribute to the regional
economy and beyond.
These cutting edge facilities and systems are an asset for the whole community
and will help strengthen our partnerships within business and increase our
research capabilities. Our collaboration with Lancashire Enterprise Partnership
will help us to focus on regional skills needs."
As well as catering for growing numbers of undergraduates the Technology Hub
will open its doors to schools in areas where pupils are unlikely to enter
higher education and/or study science, technology, engineering or math subjects.
Chair of the LEPs Growth Deal Management Board, Graham Cowley, said:- "The
LEP is investing around £30m in a network of new, modern training facilities
which will enable thousands of local people to improve their employability and
provide the skilled workforce needed to achieve our ambitious strategic plan for
growth. We've prioritised investing in key areas of the economy such as the
creative and digital sector, which already employs tens of thousands of people,
is growing rapidly and is beginning to experience skills shortages. Supporting
world class facilities such as Edge Hill's Technology Hub will ensure we have a
pipeline of graduates with the cutting edge creative and digital skills needed
to help transform Lancashire's economy and drive growth for years to come."
The Tech Hub will be officially opened on 19 October 2016, by entrepreneur and former
Chairman, President and CEO of world-leading technology company ARM Holdings,
Sir Robin Saxby.
Facilities located on the third floor, the bioscience research laboratories,
equipped for state of the art investigations into animal and human samples will
open later in 2017.
Baby Jake in sound hands
with hearing team
SOUTHPORT and Ormskirk NHS Hospital
Trust's Newborn hearing screening team has been based at Ormskirk Hospital since
Around 80% of newborns are screened prior to leaving Hospital, and the remaining
within 4 to 5 weeks of birth. 2 day old Jake Owen became the 24,000th baby to be
Mark Billing, manager of the team of 7, said:- "We offer this service
every day of the year, even on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. We screen more than
2500 babies each year to identify those at risk of hearing loss. Jake is
our 24,000th baby and we are happy to report that he has passed his hearing
A hand held device is used for screening and a small soft tip is placed in the
baby's ear canal. The device detects echoes in the ear. The essential procedure
only takes a few minutes.
The NHS newborn hearing screening programme (NHSP) aims to identify moderate,
severe and profound deafness and hearing impairment in newborn babies.
It offers all parents in England the opportunity to have their baby's hearing
tested shortly after birth.
Early identification of hearing impairment gives children a better chance of
developing speech and language skills, and of making the most of social and
emotional interaction from an early age.
Approximately, 1 or 2 babies out of 1000 may be found to have a permanent,
childhood hearing impairment.
Mark added:- "We are here to detect if there is a problem with hearing and
identify it as soon as possible. That means the baby and family can be directed
to support services. A baby as young as 1 month old could have hearing aids
fitted which will greatly improve the hearing. Problems would arise if the
baby's hearing wasn't assessed and left for a period of months."
Louise Near, Lynda Shields, Sam Baker and Sarah Carr work as hearing screeners.
Louise said:- "We enjoy this job and families of newborns are very happy
to see us visit. They like to know if something as important as hearing is
getting screened in those early 1st hours of life."
Lynda Shields said:- "It is a lovely job. We get all the smiles from
families as they have just welcomed a new baby into the world."
Sam Baker added:- "Although problems are very rare, it is good to detect
when a baby's hearing isn't quite right. Because there is the time to assess the
problem and we can direct the family to the most appropriate support services."
Adult audiology tests take place at Southport Hospital. In total audiology has
23 members of staff with more than 200 years of experience between them.
Last year they performed 6000 hearing tests, 3500 hearing screens, fitted 5500
hearing aids and attended to 35,000 patients via an open access drop in clinic
at Southport Hospital.