Research Exchange News

Research Exchange News


QMU and Glasgow Action on Mental Health and Glasgow Open Museum Identity and Community

Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH)offer help to people who are recovering from mental health problems to live the lives that they want to live. 

The aim of this project, led by John Hughes, Psychology and Sociology  was to provide an opportunity for participants from GAMH  to explore their own social histories and identities within their own communities by developing written and oral narratives about their identities and communities through interacting with sociological theories and concepts as well as museum artefacts and objects.


Converge Challenge 2015

Very well done to Dr Felix Schaeffler and the fitvoice team in CASL for securing a place in the final of  Scotland’s prestigious Converge Challenge 2015. This is Scotland's leading commercialisation competition and is the first time that QMU has reached
the finals with fierce competition from over 450 applicants.  fitvoice  addresses a gap in the market for a convenient and affordable voice care service that allows remote assessment of voices and remote delivery of voice care, so that occupational voice users can fit regular voice care into their busy daily routines.

Scottish Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil Producers Group

QMU researchers are working with Scotland Food and Drink  as part of a Common Interest Group, including 8 cold-pressed rapeseed oil producers, to deliver a joint marketing campaign to promote Scottish cold pressed rapeseed oil to markets in the UK and abroad. As part of this they are keen to identify aspects of Scottish cold pressed rapeseed oil that differ from oil grown and produced elsewhere.

QMU’s initial work with Black & Gold cold-pressed rapeseed oil indicated the potential for this premium product to provide an important nutritional contribution to the diet. It was found that the oil had an exceptional fatty acid profile and was also a valuable source of antioxidants which remained active following domestic cooking.

Following discussions with the group, it was realised that the work with Black & Gold could be built on and expanded to include products from all the producers in the group to provide valuable information to underpin the development of the group’s marketing campaign. This project will offer a deeper insight into the unique taste and nutritional attributes of Scottish cold-pressed rapeseed oil, focusing on the unique antioxidant and fatty acid profiles of the products.

React2 Ltd 

React2 Limited (formerly Propeller Multimedia) is one of the largest distributors and designers of Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) rehabilitation software in the UK. The software is used to assist adults and children regain speech, reading and writing skills that have been impaired due to stroke or brain injury, and it is suitable for both clinical and home use.

The company has developed and designed “React2”, a successful SLT software programme that delivers over 8000 different cognitive exercises targeting verbal and written deficits. The React2 core product and brand is being extended into specifically targeted areas of need.

The first of a number of new exciting developments is “React2Conversations” which will provide a unique and innovative form of therapy for those who need help with their functional communication skills. It comprises a series of interactive video vignettes in which the user must navigate their way through an extensive set of real world conversational scenarios. In order to do this the user must respond to a set of precisely defined clinical exercises. These exercises will be woven into the video scenarios and will thoroughly test and enhance the users understanding of conversational speech.

To complete this work the company engaged a QMU speech and language intern who  focused on developing descriptive and linguistic layers to a pre-prepared set of 36 scripts This involved carefully grading grammatical structures and vocabulary and ensuring that information carrying words were consistently applied as the level of therapy increased. It is intended that the exercises developed will have multi-platform functionality. They will be available as both an add-on to the core React2 software package for PC and Mac and as a video-based App for android devices and iPad.


Sea Buckthorn Common Interest Group 

QMU researchers are currently working with 6 companies with different products (chocolate, cakes, marinades, tea, juice and a golf item) all of whom have a common interest in developing new products using Sea Buckthorn as a key ingredient. For Sea Buckthorn to become a viable ingredient for use by the food and drink industry, it is essential that the berries can be stored for use throughout the year without compromising their unique nutritional properties.

The aim of this project is to investigate over time the effects of various storage methods (fresh, frozen and freeze dried) on the nutritional content of the berries and their juice, focussing on the antioxidant profile. Analysis of the fresh and stored leaves will also be included.

This project will provide evidence-based, scientific insight that will be used to underpin the development and delivery of the new products created by each participant and will be targeted to UK and International markets. 

Fish From   

QMU researchers worked with FishFrom, a start up commercial freshwater salmon farming business, that plans to utilise the very latest in Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) technology to grow fish (salmon) from egg through to harvest on-shore in tanks.  RAS is a new technique for farming salmon and  provides an opportunity to tailor the production of fish that have specific attributes.  In particular, the company were  keen to determine the factors influencing the purchase of salmon and to explore how this controlled and sustainable production technique may be of benefit in increasing salmon consumption.

Through a series of focus groups, the project looked at the factors influencing the purchase and consumption of farmed salmon in Scotland, with a particular focus on nutrition-related health claims and product attributes.  This information is essential for the company to ensure that steps taken to improve the sustainability and availability of farmed salmon, through this new and innovative farming technique, do indeed impact positively on long-term intakes of oily fish in Scotland. 



Borders Journeys  

Established in 2012, Borders Journeys specialises in providing exclusive private and group guided tours of the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, and Northumberland. Their range of luxury one day and half day tours enables customers to experience the beauty, history and culture of these regions.  

The company worked with the academic team from the Business School at Queen Margaret University to develop a Business Development Strategy which included the development of the ancestral component of the business targeting the Year of Homecoming Scotland, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in 2014.

As a result of the project the company has increased understanding of the ancestral tourism market which is a key sector for their business. They will use this knowledge to expand their business and attract more visitors from abroad who wish to explore their Scottish roots.

Edinburgh’s time lapse film-maker to capture Scotland’s largest arts project

Following the popularity of his stunning time-lapse images of Edinburgh during the festive period, an award-winning film maker is to capture the development of one of Scotland’s largest arts projects on film.

Walid Salhab, media practice lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, enthralled an international audience with his Kinetic Edinburgh films which combine stop motion and time-lapse techniques. His second film, Kinetic Edinburgh II, released at Christmas 2012, received over three million hits on You Tube.

His creative skills have now been engaged by The Helix, a land transformation project driven by Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals which is turning 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a vibrant new parkland with visitor attractions.

Wheatrig Farm

 J & J Thomson, Wheatrig Farm, have been growing wheat as a core crop for 15 years. In order to diversify they have set up Wheatrig Flour as a separate company to produce a premium locally grown and milled flour. The aim of this project is to analyse the nutritional content of this locally grown and milled flour and explore options for adding specific nutrients.

In particular the feasibility of adding a source of DHA from marine algae and vitamin D to the flour will be examined.  

A & R Muirhead

R Muirhead are independent grassland consultants and seedsmen. They have developed a gluten free flour made from Timothy grass seed which is the only commercially grown native grass seed in the UK.

The aim of the project is to work in partnership with the company to establish the nutritional attributes of the seed flour and consider the enhancement of nutritional properties by blending with another seed grain, Quinoa. This will allow consideration of how to develop premium gluten free products such as sports bars or breads based on the nutritional profile.