BOURNEMOUTH University has won the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research award at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015.

The awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector, shining a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of institutions, teams and individuals in the UK higher education sector.

Developing software that allows severely disabled schoolchildren to create 3D sculptures earned the team from Bournemouth University the Outstanding Digital Innovation in Teaching or Research award.

Researchers from Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) worked with Victoria Education Centre in Poole, a school for children with physical and learning disabilities, to develop a software system that enables students to bring art to life.

The Sculpture for Healthcare: Interaction and Virtual Art in 3D project, or SHIVA – which was supported by European Union funding and includes partners from France and Norway – developed software that allows children to create and 3D-print objects using only their eyes.

Professor John Fletcher, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Bournemouth University, said: "This is brilliant news and I am delighted to be able to congratulate the research team behind the SHIVA Project. The project is a fine example of how our research at BU can be put into action to make a real difference to people’s lives and this award is a deserved recognition for their innovation, dedication and hard work."

Their victory was witnessed by more than 1,100 people, who gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane for the awards.

The winning team for the award included: Professor Alexander Pasko, Professor Peter Comninos, Dr Leigh McLoughlin, Dr Oleg Fryazinov, Dr Valery Adzhiev, PhD student Mathieu Sanchez and Mark Moseley, who worked for Victoria Educational Centre and is now a BU Doctoral student.