Computer Science News

GDI Hub announces new MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation

On Monday 19 February, the Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub opened its doors to friends, fellow academics, collaborators and the general public, to celebrate its move to UCL Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The GDI Hub is a new Research Centre based in UCL Engineering. Its aim is to build a movement to accelerate disability innovation for a fairer world. By harnessing technology for good, and by connecting community partners and start-ups with academics and businesses, it undertakes projects to deliver strategic global impact in accessibility innovation, with the UN, NGOs, Governments and private sector partners. 

In his welcoming address, Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, praised the innovative nature and multidisciplinarity of the GDI Hub. “At UCL, we are always looking for ways to make an impact through our research. We have a series of research teams that transcend the university, who, inspired in particular by the Paralympic Games, identified the whole area of disability and the impact the university could make by bringing together engineering, clinical studies and computer science, among many other areas of research.”

The GDI Hub is a flagship project of the Cultural and Educational District (CED) partners on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Emerging from the legacy of the Paralympic Games and the wide-ranging strengths of its partners, it can nurture, create, and coordinate opportunities to think about disability innovation from a new perspective. 

The evening included a series of presentations and a panel event with leading academics and influencers, offering many great insights into pioneering initiatives in disability innovation, the GDI’s current projects and opportunities for the future. This included the GDI Hub Chair Lord Chris Holmes, who gave his inspirational take on how to build a disability innovation movement, based in east London, to tackle global injustice. “I’m so proud to be Chair of the Advisory board,” said Lord Holmes, “and proud of all the disabled people leading the work that the GDI has done and will continue to do in this innovative, inclusive space in east London.”

Dr Cathy Holloway, the Academic Director of the GDI Hub, was delighted to use the evening to announce a new, collaborative MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation, which will launch in 2018. “Thanks to the tremendous amount of work from all our colleagues across UCL, Loughborough University and University of the Arts London (UAL). We also want to thank the Snowdon Trust, who are providing 3 fully-funded studentships for disabled people to take this programme.”

Guests were then invited to network and celebrate together over drinks, and to discuss ideas and discussion pieces for a forthcoming GDI Hub publication. These contributions will explore how to build a disability innovation movement. Everyone is welcome to submit ideas, to ensure the publication is as inclusive as possible.

“I am so grateful to everyone who helped to pull off yet another wonderful GDI Hub event,” said Dr Holloway. “It will take all of us working together as hard as we can to fulfil this mission, and I am overwhelmed by how many people we were able to welcome to the family tonight.”


You can find out more about the GDI Hub on their website.

You can find out more about UCL at HereEast here.

If you would like to contribute your idea to the GDI hub publication, please email for more information.



Posted 22 Feb 18 14:13
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