COVUNI (UK) – Coordinator

Coventry University

Profile of the organisation

Coventry University is a modern, forward-looking university whose roots can be traced back to 1843 to the Coventry College of Design. With both a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on Research Excellence with Impact, the University has established an academic presence regionally, nationally and across the world.

Through its links with leading-edge businesses and organisations in a variety of industries, Coventry University’s 24,000+ students enjoy access to placement opportunities which ensure that their employability prospects are enhanced by the time they graduate. Its students also benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and facilities in all academic disciplines from health, sport science and performing arts to industrial design, engineering and computing.

The institution has earned a strong reputation for enterprise and innovation, which sees it work with more SMEs each year than any other University and helped it to secure the Times Higher Education “Entrepreneurial University of the Year” award in 2011, the status as “Modern University of the Year” in 2014 and 2015, and ‘University of the Year for Student Experience 2015’

In recent years Coventry has seen a dramatic improvement in its positions in every major university league table and student satisfaction levels have risen significantly to cement the institution’s position as one of the leading modern universities in the country. The University consistently scores well in the teaching quality category, with over 92% of students surveyed in 2013 agreeing that tutors and lecturers are “enthusiastic about what they are teaching” and are “good at explaining things”.

The city centre campus itself is continually developing and evolving and a recent £100 million-plus investment in a new student centre and engineering and computing building is playing a key role in modernising the entire learning experience.

The Europeana Space project brings together different discipline experts with experience of working on collaborative projects in association with international partners.  The School of Art and Design has expertise ranging from digital archiving, dance analysis, screendance, motion capture, digital library development, automated image analysis, pedagogy in immersive environments and e-learning, public policy and the creative industries;  the Serious Games Institute (SGI) provides an interface between high-level academic research at Coventry University and leading edge technology companies; and its staff include leading developers in the fields of serious games, virtual world technology and interactive digital content.

Motivations and interests in Europeana Space

CovUni has embraced the potential of digital technologies to enhance users’ experience of cultural heritage in a range of innovative heritage-related partnership projects. We have a particular interest in the management of archival content, user-generated content, the development and application of flexible, adaptive data management systems and software, visualisation, usability – and in their application to heritage, education and tourism contexts.

Role in the project

COVUNI is the coordinating partner. Moreover, it will coordinate two pilots, one on Dance and one on Games, and also participates in the Open Hybrid Publishing pilot.

Key Personnel

  • Sarah Whatley – Professor of Dance and Director of Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University. As a researcher and dance artist, her research specialises in the interface between dance and new technologies, dance analysis, somatic dance practice and pedagogy, and inclusive dance. She led the Siobhan Davies archive project (, was co-investigator for the Choreographic Objects network project, the Digital Dance Archives project and the Screendance network – all three major projects funded by the AHRC. She led the JISC-funded D-TRACES project, focusing on the embedding of digital resources in the University curriculum, and is a member of the International Education Workgroup for the Forsythe Company’s Motion Bank project. She edits the international Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Screendance.
  • Gary Hall Professor of Media and Performing Arts in the School of Art and Design and Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media at Coventry University, UK. A cultural and media theorist, working on new media technologies, philosophy and cultural studies, he is Author of Culture in Bits (Continuum, 2002) and Digitize This Book!: The Politics of New Media, or Why We Need Open Access Now (Minnesota UP, 2008), and co-editor of New Cultural Studies: Adventures in Theory (Edinburgh UP, 2006).Founding co-editor of the open access journal Culture Machine, co-founder of the Open Humanities Press and co-editor of OHP’s Culture Machine Liquid Books series. In 2010 he was Visiting Fellow in The Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH): University of Cambridge.
  • Jonathan Shaw is Co-Director of the Disruptive Media Learning Lab at Coventry University. He led the team which pioneered free and open photography educational resources at Coventry University; the Photographic Mediations collection he curated had in excess of a million listens; the classes #PICBOD & #PHONAR have been accessed by thousands of people worldwide; the apps developed have been called ground-breaking. His photographic work has been published alongside pioneers such as Muybridge and Edgerton. Jonathan has been described as being part of an early generation of artists responsible for the emergence of a new school of photography which blurs the boundaries between the still and moving image. He has authored four publications: NEWFOTOSCAPES (2014), Crash (2009), (re)collect (2006) and Time|Motion (2003).