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UoB x THCB = Innovation

By Will Robinson

I am studying in my final, fourth year of Computer Science with Innovation at the University of Bristol. Computer Science is as you would imagine, techy computery nerd stuff. It's pretty cool, but I wouldn't say it means much outside its sphere. Innovation is much more interesting though, and much more relevant to THCB. Innovation is a separate part of my degree, similar to a joint honours degree. I study Innovation with other students from many different disciplines - Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, and Physics, but also Anthropology, Psychology, History, Music, Film & TV, Management etc. All of the project work is group projects. I really appreciate the opportunity to work cross-discipline and feel this is an important antidote to companies that I see are born out of relatively siloed departments at universities who might not have considered the wider implications and impact of their work. The Innovation course also teaches us entrepreneurship skills which I have found very relevant to the work we are doing here at THCB, as we are essentially a startup. I have learnt about funding, marketing, and business plans, as well as how to critically analyse my work as I've gone along, in a traditional academic way. Enough about the course in general. For my final year group project (basically my dissertation), two other students and I are working to support the Sea Mills development work. We have come in, effectively as consultants, and have identified 3 key current pain points for us to support with: Their waste management proposal THCB's upcoming Planning Permission for their Sea Mills project requires a plan for residents' general, recycling and food waste. We are calculating an estimated waste production amount, and researching ways to reduce that amount. We are writing that section for them with support from their Project Manager to present to Bristol City Council. Their allocations policy They have an allocations policy written up, but it is currently untested, and we are supporting them to allocate houses in a fair manner by producing a factor analysis and iterating with the policy writers. In the coming months, THCB will embark on its first allocations process which will determine who will live at the Sea Mills development. Collaboration with homeless organisations Around two of THCB's 13 houses are expected to be set aside to prioritise those in great housing need. We are looking for ways they can collaborate with other, homeless-related organisations to make this process as smooth as possible for both THCB and people who have experienced homelessness. Our project will be completed by May, and we hope that THCB will benefit from our work. I'm personally very much looking forward to it all being over, so we all can enjoy the summer knowing it's been a job well done! I am also looking forward to having the brain space to focus more on the work I already do within THCB, continuing to support in Funding & Banking Circle and IT & Comms Circle.

Photo credit: Bruno Scramgnon/


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