5 Initiatives from Universities Around the World that Caught Our Attention

A key part of a University’s reputation nationally and internationally is based on its reputation for research and academia. A major contributor to a University’s reputation is its research output and the impact that the research has in the real world.

Here is a list of 5 top research projects from Universities around the world that made waves with their research and innovations.

1. The Royal College of Music (RCM)

The Royal College of Music is taking action to address health problems among musicians.

The Musical Impact project surveyed a combined network of over 1,500 musicians, scientists and health professionals. Nearly 80% reported pain in the upper body, and stress management, sleep quality and health management were all lower than expected. In response, Centre for Performance Science (CPS), a joint initiative with Imperial College created Healthy Conservatoires – led by Aaron Williamon, Professor of Performance Science at the Royal College of Music. This is an international network bringing together stakeholders from across the performing arts to support health and wellbeing. The network meets twice per year and includes more than 150 members who share a vision to support and promote health and wellbeing among performing artists.

2. University of Plymouth

University of Plymouth is leading a project to address the loneliness and mental wellbeing among the elderly residents of Cornwall, a county in South West England, by installing Amazon Echo Spots for use within care environments.

The University aims to install 150 devices in care homes. These homes and domiciliary patients will be linked with a team of 15-20 Digital Health Champions who will support them in effectively using the devices. The devices can be tailored to the needs of the user and the environment, but broadly they could be used for setting up treatment and medication reminders, video communications among health practitioners, family and friends and enabling interaction with age appropriate media, e.g. sound media suitable for their age/interest. The project paves the way for not only reducing loneliness and enabling better connection with families; it will also help reduce demands on the health and social care system within the region.

3. Seoul National University (SNU)

SNU has consistently filed high number of patents over the last decade and is frequently lauded for the quality of its research by the scientist community world over. It was ranked #1 by Reuter in its 2019 annual list of Asia Pacific’s Most Innovative Universities.

Among SNU’s latest research is a new “lipid nanotablet”, a significant innovation in the development of ultra-small biologically based computers. The structure of the device resembles the membranes of living cells, and computing is performed by nanoparticles bonded to pieces of DNA.

4. National University of Singapore (NUS)

Image Credit: National University of Singapore

Researchers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) are developing an artificial intelligence system that can improve the cognitive performance of students. The platform, called CURATE.AI, creates individualized profiles and builds training programs customized to each person’s learning habits; researchers say it not only improves the efficiency of training programs, but can help prevent cognitive decline in older users. In May, NUS signed an agreement with Duke University to promote joint research and development activities between the two universities. The collaboration will focus on areas including global health, public policy, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

5. Tokyo Medical & Dental University (TMDU)

Researchers at Tokyo Medical & Dental University (TMDU) are using stem cells to reverse the damage caused by inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Elsewhere at the university, a partnership with TDK Corp has resulted in the world’s first measurement and visualization of cardiac activity using magnetoresistive sensors – a technology more commonly used in the read heads of hard disk drives.

Curious to know how your University’s research can make impact in the media? Learn how we at Impact Science combine our understanding and love for research, with our expert knowledge of media formats and platforms to deliver comprehensive support for the University’s research communication needs. Visit

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    Other Image Credits:

    Elderly Person- CNBC
    Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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