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R&D Technical Narrative - Capabilities and Sought Advances

Information on the Capabilities and Sought Advances in the Technical Narrative 

In this section you should describe the technical advance you are trying to achieve. You'll need to describe the following:

  • The aim of the R&D project

  • What you are/ were trying to achieve (technically)

  • Why you are/ were you trying to achieve it

  • How this R&D project will lead to an increase in the knowledge of the industry, not just in your own capabilities

  • How it ties in to the overall aims of the company

  • The research undertaken to ensure that the problems you are trying to solve through this R&D project have not already been solved

  • Confirm that there is no off the shelf solution to this problem and, if applicable, whether you tried any of these

Full Example for Capabilities and Sought Advances

The examples below are aimed to provide a very basic guide on the type of content and tone required in a Technical Narrative Report, and should not be used as a template. Your report will require more technical detail than is outlined below. If you'd like further guidance on how to answer specific questions, please contact your R&D expert. 

What is the aim of this R&D project?

Game B is a 3D coding game, which is based on B’s Game C game. Game B is designed for children aged 8‐16 and introduces youngsters to a new, fun, engaging, and effective way of learning the basics of programming using one of the most popular languages nowadays – JavaScript. The game follows a modern approach of education, aiming to improve skillsets, such as creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, and communication, which most of the current educational games fail to target.

What scientific/ technological advance are you trying to achieve through this project? Why are you trying to achieve this?

Unlike traditional methods of learning such as reading books or solving coding tasks, Game B introduces difficult concepts in computer science to children in an accessible and visually absorbing way. In order to reach a higher level, the players need to write more sophisticated code. The game is specially designed to keep kids’ attention – showing animations, separating the tasks in stages (missions), and showing real‐time results and feedback on areas of development for the child. In the game play they easily learn the basics of debugging and understand the importance of writing efficient code. The combination of these capabilities, along with real time analytics is unique. This will not only advance our own knowledge, but also the knowledge of the industry. The team is developing a product with the help of machine learning to provide active feedback about the different areas of development for the child. The key technical advances are twofold:
1. To be able to provide a product which allows data integration into the existing software, whilst retaining performance and security when handling large volumes of sensitive data.
2. The user interface has been developed in such a way as to be able to support a wide range of applications, whilst remaining highly intuitive, with the aim of providing better insights to its users.

Please give a review of the current state of technology in the industry relating to the product/ process you are trying to build through this R&D Project

Similar solutions are available for finance and healthcare using multivariate regression analysis and natural language processing algorithms, however these solutions could not be applied directly as the data available was unstructured. Thus, a custom NLP model had to be developed to extract the data in way such that better insights were being able to be provided. There is no readily available knowledge in the field on developing a software solution to provide real time insights based on unstructured data from a game to aid developmental growth of children. Companies that have previously attempted to integrate these technologies have not been able to do so in a manager that is cost efficient and robust.

Describe the unique methods and processes involved in this R&D project. How were they different from existing ones?

Game B can be used in and out of the classroom. In either case, the players get information about their overall progress in skillsets like algorithmic thinking. Whenever used in the classroom, its platform provides a dashboard which gives the teacher insight of how an individual student, a group, or the whole class is performing in the game, which skills are mastered, and which need special attention.

The dashboard, which shows the progress of students, is a result of the integration of the game with the Real‐time Learning Analytics platform. B Games’ team spent a considerable amount of time researching ways to create an efficient strategy for measuring learning outcomes. Unlike any other system, the analytics platform provides cutting‐edge functionality of derivation of insights about the educational development and outcomes of the user from a game‐based data source.

Briefly describe the development timeline for this project.

The team spent considerable time researching and testing existing solutions and off the shelf solutions for the dashboard in October 2019. We tried using existing Machine Learning algorithms to achieve the desired outcome. After concluding that existing off the shelf solutions do not work accurately, we decided to create our own unique solution. From November to December 2019, we started working on our own unique solution to build the dashboard accurately using AI.