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Academic becomes Future Leaders Fellow

Academic becomes Future Leaders Fellow

  • Date02 November 2020

Dr Zubin Kanga from Royal Holloway has been announced as one of the 101 Future Leaders Fellow by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).


Dr Zubin Kanga, from the Department of Music, will be exploring how the latest technologies can transform musical performance and composition, including virtual reality gigs, new instruments with biosensors, Artificial Intelligence (AI) virtual musicians, and the interactive use of mobile phones in performances.

The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme is designed to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across the UK and fellows, based at UK universities and businesses, will be supported through an investment of £109 million.

UKRI’s initiative aims to support the creation of a new cohort of research and innovation leaders who will have links across different sectors and disciplines.

Dr Zubin Kanga, who is an internationally-acclaimed pianist, composer and researcher, with a specialty in co-creating new works combining the piano with new technologies, said: "I'm excited and honoured to be awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship.

“This seven year project, Cyborg Soloists, will bring together some of the world's leading composers, performers and researchers with 12 technology industry partners, each at the forefront of their respective fields, from digital instruments to computer-gaming to medicine.

“Combining new forms of interdisciplinary music with AI, interactive computer-generated video, virtual reality performances, robotics and brain-scanning biosensors, this project is a unique opportunity to establish the UK as a world leader in musician-technology interactions."

The grant supports challenging and novel projects, and the development of the fellow’s career. The funding can also be used to support team members, their development, and pay for equipment and other needs.

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