Seed Money Projects 2016

Awarded seed money proposals 2016

1) Demand response energy application methodology

Application domain: games for societal challenges: sustainability, smart cities

The project will address the employment of game mechanics to engage end-users in sustainable energy management, to increase awareness about energy use in buildings, and to drive the development of demand side management and demand response applications. Demand response options are employed by electricity system planners and operators as resource options for balancing supply and demand and ensuring system security. Demand response has been recognised by academics and practitioners as a tool that allows to respond to challenges related to the intermittency of renewable energy sources in a cost effective and environmentally responsible manner.

Team:  Dr. Ir. Ioannis Lampropoulos, Dr. Tarek AlSkaif, Dr. Ir. Machteld van den Broek, Dr. Wilfried van Sark, Faculty of Geosciences, Energy & Resources group, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, and Dr. Herre van Oostendorp, Jan Dirk Fijnheer, Prof. Dr. Remco Veltkamp, Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Division of Interaction Technology, Utrecht University.

2) Researching the potential of scenario planning games to visualise criminal networks

Application domain: games for societal challenges: conflict and security 

This project proposes the theoretical exploration, development, and validation of so-called scenario planning games that incorporate complex big data sets in more abstracted dynamic models capable of exploring possible criminal networks and trafficking routes and potential prevention strategies. The purpose of the research is to examine the potential of scenario planning games as a tool to empower democratic institutions (including law enforcement institutions) and citizens (including NGOs) in uncovering, identifying, contextualizing and visualizing (hidden) criminal and trafficking networks, and assisting in the development of policy recommendations and priorities.

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Team: Dr. Ingrid Hoofd, Stephanie de Smale (MA), and Dr. Jasper van Vught, Faculty of Humanities, Media and Culture Studies; Dr. Stephen Snelders, Faculty of Science, Freudenthal Institute/HPS

3) A gamified m-coaching application to improve dietary behaviour among adolescents from low socioeconomic position

Application domain: games for health 

A gamified mobile e-coaching (m-coaching) application to improve dietary behaviour of adolescents from low socioeconomic position will be designed. The system will foster awareness about energy balance and includes personalized behavioural change and 'food literacy' strategies to stimulate healthy eating behaviour. To support the learning process and behaviour change, the system integrates so-called persuasive strategies, in particular elements of gamification. Second, together with an interdisciplinary research team a larger grant proposal will be written to further develop and test the m-coach. The aim of this larger grant proposal is to implement and validate a fully automated gamified m-coaching application on the basis of the current activity. In addition, the seed money will be used to write a scientific paper on the design of the proposed gamified m-health application.

Team: Dr. Maartje Poelman, assistant professor, Faculty of Geosciences, Healthy Urban Living Research Program, Department Human Geography and Spatial Planning; Dr. ir. Robbert Jan Beun, assistant professor, Faculty of Science, Interaction Technology, Department of Information and Computing Sciences

4) Game co-design for sustainable city governance

Application domain: games for societal challenges: sustainability, smart cities

Project description: 

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Team: Dr. Joost Vervoort, assistant professor, Environmental Governance, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development/ senior researcher, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford; Dr. Stefan Werning, assistant professor, Faculty of Humanities, Media and Culture Studies; Dr. Michiel de Lange, assistant professor, Faculty of Humanities, Media and Culture Studies

5) Gamifying stress reduction for promotion wellbeing

Application domain: games for health

We propose to develop an integrated ICT ecosystem to support unobtrusive collection of relevant mental health metrics using existing wearables devices and novel (yet to market) devices to promote wellbeing. We also seek to systematise a virtual ‘coach’ based on serious game learning principles  underpinned by cognitive and clinical psychology and other ICT technologies including recommender systems and distributed user interfaces. Our focal target will include stress (measured in a multi-modal manner) and our focal intervention strategies will be based on psychological principles of behavioural change, and cognitive and mental resiliency to promote activity, interpersonal connectivity, and skills acquisition to promote holistic wellbeing.  

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Team: Dr. Alishia Williams, Prof. dr. Claudi Bockting, Dr. Lotte Gerritsen, Department of Clinical Psychology; Dr. Ronald Poppe, Department of Information and Computing Sciences.

6) Playful VR and AR experiences for social inclusion

Application domain: games for societal challenges: inclusion

This project addresses if and how VR/AR can help people dealing with permanent or temporary situations of social isolation by providing them an opportunity to escape from the limited space in which they are confined and to reintegrate in the society beyond isolation. The seed money invested in this project is used to build a strong consortium of international partners necessary to address the related challenging research questions and to support the writing of a high quality research proposal.

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If you are interested in being involved in the international consortium or you have any questions related to this project, please contact Teresa de la Hera 

Team: Dr. Teresa de la Hera, Department of Media and Culture Studies; Dr. Wolfgang Hürst, Department of Information and Computing Sciences; Dr. Michiel Kamp, Department of Media and Culture Studies; Prof. Dr. Bram Orobio de Castro; Developmental Psychology; Dr. Margot Peeters, ASW: Cultural Diversity & Youth