Page content

An Ulster University team, led by Prof Joan Condell from the School of Computing, Engineering and Intelligent Systems (SCEIS), have recently commenced a new European funded project ‘NorthWord’.

The Ulster team includes Mr Jorge Alvarez, Dr Michael Callaghan, and Dr Priyanka Chaurasia from SCEIS.  This new 2 year European project with a budget of just under 1M Euro brings together seven partners from the Northern Periphery and Arctic European region (NPA) to focus on developing a digital platform which allows creatives to harness traditional stories using modern technologies. The project will help increase the visibility and market reach of creative practitioners working in remote areas, harnessing stories that make Northern regions distinct such as place, identity, community, cultural, landscape and natural heritage.

Ulster University alongside Northern Ireland partner Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust (CCGHT) will work with local Northern Ireland communities and companies to gather up to 30 stories, presenting stories in a variety of multimedia formats.  The digital platform will be used to bank the stories as well as market and sell local products to online visitors.  Data analytics collected will allow creatives to better understand their global audience. Partners from Scotland, Russia, Sweden, Finland, alongside Ulster University and CCGHT in Northern Ireland will use a not-for-profit business model to make the NorthWord platform available for community and creatives use.

Given the current COVID-19 pandemic situation whilst everything is in a constant state of flux with ongoing challenges, many businesses are continuing to adapt, plan and prepare for the 2021 tourism season.

Nikki Maguire from the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust said:

“We are delighted to be working with Ulster University to bring the NorthWord project to the Causeway Coast and Glens area. Local creative businesses will be encouraged to use this as inspiration to bring new products to market. We are discussing with Prof Condell the next steps to take this element of the project forward over the next few months.”

Professor Joan Condell said:

The project recognises commonalities and draws on the experience and expertise of institutions in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Northern Ireland, Russia, Sweden and Finland to find solutions.   It allows each partner institution to share their specialist knowledge and expertise, and to learn from the expertise of others. Working collaboratively will benefit participating businesses and communities. Our new project partnership will create a new NorthWord platform and will enable digital solutions to be deployed.”

For more information, please visit the project website.