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REACTOR kicks off second year and takes on challenges to city's transportation, care, housing and environments

p>As REACTOR moves into its second year it has announced the theme for the Big Gamification Challenge 2018: Immersive Environments | A series of smart cities challenges.

The REACTOR project is led by Anglia Ruskin University and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund with the aim of supporting the growth of an applied games sector in the Cambridgeshire/Peterborough region, by enabling connections between businesses, talent, expertise, facilities and grants. The Big Gamification Challenge is run by REACTOR to solve a societal problem within a particular sector, or enhance and improve user experiences with applied gaming.

Speaking at the REACTOR Showcase event in October, Daniel Clarke, Smart Cities Programme Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, outlined the current context of Cambridge as a “constrained city”, highlighting that approximately 35,000 new houses are to be built, 50,000 more people are to join the city and 44,000 new jobs are to be created. The potential impact on the city will see challenges to the transportation systems, health and social care, air quality, housing and sustainable environments.

Inviting attendees to reflect on the potential to improve experiences, Clarke asked: “How do we use new and emerging technology and gaming principles to create more user and customer friendly experiences in cities, providing immersive, seamless access to services? How can we better use city data, real time modelling and visualisation, machine learning and AI? We need to engage people in the city through play, create a sense of place and community, and make cities fun environments to be in. That is the Big Gamification Challenge for 2018.”

The keynote address at the Showcase was given by Peter Dawe, entrepreneur and founder of Cambridge Electric Transport. Attendees had the opportunity to test drive Peter’s latest invention – the CitiPod – a single person pedelec vehicle (powered both by pedals and electricity).

Dawe said: “I have set up 90 businesses to date, with all of them created to solve issues. The pedelec conforms to electric bike guidelines and is a viable new form of transportation that could be evolutionary in terms of city transportation. We want evolution, not revolution, and another way to ensure evolution in transportation is to gamify transport in cities – I look forward to seeing the concepts inspired and developed through the Big Gamification Challenge 2018!”


Kicking off on Wednesday 8 November at the Big Gamification Challenge Introductory Seminar, interested individuals, SMEs and games industry representatives are invited to find out more about the challenge and to network with other similarly minded individuals and representatives from the smart cities and applied games sectors.


Media Enquires:

For more information on REACTOR please contact Hannah Coetsee, hannah.coetsee@consciouscomms.com or Zoë Scorer, zoe.scorer@consciouscomms.com ; both at Conscious Communications on 01223 421 831.

For more information on Anglia Ruskin University please contact: Jon Green, 0845 196 4717; jon.green@anglia.ac.uk ; or Jamie Forsyth, 08451 964 716; jamie.forsyth@anglia.ac.uk .

Notes to Editors

About Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin is an innovative global university, brimming with ambition.  Students from 177 countries gain qualifications with us in four continents.  Students, academics, businesses and partners all benefit from our outstanding facilities; we’ve invested £100 million over the last five years and plan to invest a further £91 million over the next five years.

Anglia Ruskin’s Research Institutes and five faculties bridge scientific, technical and creative fields.  We deliver impactful research which tackles pressing issues and makes a real difference, from saving lives to conserving water.  Our academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 12 areas classed as generating world-leading research. 

We are ranked in the world’s top 350 institutions in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and in 2016 we featured in a list of the 20 “rising stars” in global Higher Education compiled by strategy consultants Firetail.

About the European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £504,272 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding .  


REACTOR is a regional development project led by Anglia Ruskin University and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project's aim is to support the growth of an applied games sector in the Cambridgeshire/Peterborough region by enabling connections between businesses, talent, expertise, facilities and grants. A total of £1 million will be committed to help new and existing businesses in all sectors to use games technologies and user-based design in innovative products and services – creating applied games and, ultimately, a new applied games sector in the region.


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