Jenny started the part time PhD in March 2018 and it will take some time to complete! The Cairngorms area is a key case study in her work. Keep an eye out for Jenny presenting at conferences, webinars and publishing papers on Rural Mobility as a Service (R-MaaS).
In 2019, Cairngorms Connected was successful in obtaining funding through the Design Foundation Call at Innovate UK (IUK). The project focused on developing new mobility services through early-stage human-centred research and design and was well received by IUK.
The vision was founded in the requirement to develop new needs-based mobility services that connect people and organisations and open up new opportunities for the local economy. The project developed a stakeholder map and unusually combined all users, transport providers, businesses, community groups in one room to discuss the barriers and opportunities to rural transport.
The next step involved a combination of ten qualitative and quantitative methods. The research was unique in utilising existing methods in an innovative manner by adopting a co-design approach involving local communities, businesses and visitors. An array of different users were involved which was key to the unique co-design method; young people, parents, commuters, elderly, and disabled. This collaboration of stakeholders helped to understand how and why people travel, what challenges they face, their needs and opportunities.
The findings were then used in co-design and collaborative workshops to develop 'service concepts', personas and business models for 2-3 prioritised concept. The 'posters' shown here are an example of how service concepts were developed by the multi-stakeholder groups.
The key objective throughout was to ensure all those involved in using, providing or funding rural transport were involved at each stage ensuring a collaborative and engaged process. The work was very visual and the conversations dynamic. Ultimately the research has helped develop other projects in the region, particularly for HITRANS, the organisations involved and the work 'doesn't sit on a shelf'. The work culminated in a CIC (Community Interest Company) forming to allow all stakeholders to work together under one umbrella.
At the outset of Cairngorms Connected, it was initially helpful for those parties involved in the project to formulate the beginning of a Business Case. The joint work of IBI Group, based in Glasgow and Jenny developed the original document. During the coming year it is expected this document to be updated and to take into account the Innovate UK work and knowledge gained through the part time PhD.