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Lecturer Zayd Dawood named among Nation’s Lifesavers

​A researcher from the University of Gloucestershire has today (Thursday 16 May) been recognised for his exceptional contribution to keeping the nation healthy.

Zayd Dawood from the School of Business and Technology has been named for the first time today as one of the Nation’s Lifesavers, as part of Universities UK’s MadeAtUni campaign, which brings to life the impact of universities on everyday lives.

The Nation’s Lifesavers are the top 100 individuals or groups based in universities whose work is saving lives or making a life-changing difference to our health and wellbeing.

Zayd has been chosen for his work with Service Robotics Ltd developing healthcare robots to monitor and assist the daily life of the elderly. The robot, called the Genie Connect, uses Artificial Intelligence technology to support independent living, providing services ranging from medication reminders to alerting emergency contacts in the event of an accident. [Meet Zayd and Genie in our short video which explains the project more fully.]

Zayd Dawood, Academic Course Leader in Digital Media and Web, said: “The public has become versed with the terms 3D cinema, virtual reality and augmented reality – but we’re now entering an era of technology that is driven by robots and AI. It’s great to be working with Service Robotics Ltd and with an advanced system. The robots will enable the university to teach the next generation of technological development and we’re looking forward to making some apps on the robot, almost like an Alexa on Legs.”

Rob Parkes, Co-Founder of Services Robotics Limited, said: The University of Gloucestershire has a dynamic approach to working with local businesses, and we have received a lot of help not only from Zayd in software design and strategy for Genie Connect, but also from Jessica Reid, Lecturer in Graphic Design, and marketing support from MBA students. Our relationship with the university’s Growth Hub began in the very early stages of our business, following a recommendation from another local business contact.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, President Universities UK, said: “When people think of lifesavers they tend to focus on the dedication and skill of our doctors, nurses, carers, and paramedics – many of whom are trained at universities. Every day, up and down the country, universities are also working on innovations to transform and save lives. Research taking place in universities is finding solutions to so many of the health and wellbeing issues we care about and the causes that matter.

“By proudly working in partnership with charities, the NHS and healthcare organisations, universities are responsible for some of our biggest health breakthroughs and in revolutionising the delivery of care.

“This campaign is a chance to bring to life the wonderful and often unexpected work going on every day in our universities and to celebrate some of the people working to make a life-changing difference to the nation.”

Research shows the public are proud of UK universities​ but have little understanding of the benefits they bring, with most not being aware that UK academics are behind many of the discoveries that save lives and keep up healthy. The MadeAtUni campaign gives the public an insight into some of this work and celebrates those who made it happen. More information on the campaign can be found on the dedicated website: