bildr, a mobile phone app, is a product created by the Frameworks project that helps Oxford graduate students and staff track how their career is developing in an easy and useful way. It is the first tool of its kind to take advantage of the mobile, smartphone format, thereby enabling users to do this tracking on-the-fly, and to build a skills profile that they can take beyond the University if so desired. So the moment a student has finished a training course, or reached a research milestone, or started a new collaborative venture (the list goes on…) they will be able to chart how they are evolving as a professional against the Oxford Skills Framework, setting goals for themselves, and getting a clear sense of what steps they can take next through live, dynamic suggestions for upcoming training. And when they come to write their next CV, they will be able to generate a custom report so that they can simply paste in their latest, most relevant skill profile and list of activities. The app is accompanied by a database in which user profiles are stored, providing all sorts of opportunities for detailed reports and research.
Though in its initial stages, the Licensing and Ventures team at Oxford University Innovation has helped John Miles to map out the potential for the app, exploring questions such as: would other universities take this up, and would other public sector bodies want to encourage their staff to use it? Might there be other markets to which the app and database could be taken? We are at the early stages of putting together a company to provide the bildr service to other institutions, and have introduced John to potential investors. We are now helping John to put together a bid for funding to make a minimum viable product in advance of creating a company.
“My project is just making its first steps as far as fulfilling its commercial potential is concerned, but I’ve felt really lucky to have had Oxford University Innovation’s support during these formative stages. Working with Oxford University Innovation has helped me to clarify my vision for bildr, to explore the project’s commercial possibilities, and to understand better how the app and database we are producing might benefit the University and expand beyond it. I’m really excited to see what the future holds.”
– Dr John Miles, Research Associate at Wadham College and Training Officer for the Humanities