Innovation is widely recognised as essential to the modern economy. The term knowledgebased innovation system has been used to refer to innovation systems which recognise the importance of an economy’s knowledge base and the efficient interactions between important actors from the different sectors of society. Such interactions are thought to enable greater innovation by the system as a whole. Whilst it may not be possible to fully understand all the complex relationships involved within knowledge-based innovation systems, within the field of informetrics bibliometric methodologies have emerged that allows us to analyse some of the relationships that contribute to the innovation process. However, due to the limitations in traditional bibliometric sources it is important to investigate new potential sources of information. The web is one such source. This thesis documents an investigation into the potential of the web to provide information about knowledge-based innovation systems in the United Kingdom. Within this thesis the link analysis methodologies that have previously been successfully applied to investigations of the academic community (Thelwall, 2004a) are applied to organisations from different sections of society to determine whether link analysis of the web can provide a new source of information about knowledge-based innovation systems in the UK. This study makes the case that data may be collected ethically to provide information about the interconnections between web sites of various different sizes and from within different sectors of society, that there are significant differences in the linking practices of web sites within different sectors, and that reciprocal links provide a better indication of collaboration than uni-directional web links. Most importantly the study shows that the web provides new information about the relationships between organisations, rather than just a repetition of the same information from an alternative source. Whilst the study has shown that there is a lot of potential for the web as a source of information on knowledge-based innovation systems, the same richness that makes it such a potentially useful source makes applications of large scale studies very labour intensive.
Mante, Joseph. (University of Wolverhampton, 2014)
This study undertook a critical examination of developing countries’ experiences of infrastructure-related construction dispute resolution using Ghana as a case study. It investigated the dispute resolution processes and procedures which parties to infrastructure construction disputes employed to address such disputes. To gain a better understanding of the dispute resolution processes, the study also assessed the legal framework for procurement and contract formation and other contextual issues which influenced parties’ dispute resolution choices. Consequently, strategies for efficient and effective dispute resolution were developed. The main rationale for the study was the need for effective and efficient dispute resolution processes in the context of infrastructure projects in developing countries. The literature indicated that disputes often occurred on such projects in developing countries that were resolved at great cost mainly by arbitral tribunals in the developed world. However, there was limited information on the extent to which other dispute resolution mechanisms were utilised prior to resort to international arbitration. The study adopted a qualitative research approach informed by the interpretivist philosophical paradigm. Data was collected from fifty-six interviewees from the State as the Employer and foreign contractors through semi-structured interviews and documents and analysed using qualitative data analysis procedures associated with grounded theory research such as coding, constant comparison, memoing and diagramming, and doctrinal legal analysis. It was found that engineer’s determination, negotiation and international arbitration were the most used dispute resolution mechanisms. Others such as mediation were rarely used. The dispute resolution processes were characterised by high cost, low satisfaction with outcomes and negative effect on relationships. It was also found that the extant dispute resolution processes were the product of the nature of the parties, the context in which they operated and their responses to the context. Factors such as lack of coordination among the Employer’s sub-units, human resource constraints and political interference had varying negative impacts on dispute occurrence, dispute resolution system design and the dispute resolution processes. To deal with these challenges and achieve efficient and effective dispute resolution processes, four sets of remedial strategies (condensed into a model called the Dispute Resolution Efficiency Cycle (DREC)) were proposed. The study has provided empirical evidence which has addressed some of the gaps identified in the literature on issues such as absence of information on pre-international arbitration dispute processes. The study has also highlighted the impact of context and dispute system design on dispute resolution. Contributions to practice included diagnosing challenges with the extant dispute resolution processes and proposing possible remedial strategies.
Trela, Malgorzata (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-03)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic joint disease of unknown aetiology. The autoimmune nature of RA is underlined by abundant generation of rheumatoid factor (RF) autoantibodies to IgG1 Fc, and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) to citrullinated autoantigens such as fibrinogen. Although RA pathogenesis has not been elucidated, genetic predisposition, environmental insults and viral pathogens are considered contributory factors. Human endogenous retrovirus K10 (HERV-K10) is one such virus as it retained the capacity to produce viral particles in RA synovium. This study set out to explore how HERV-K10 Gag matrix region could contribute to RA pathogenesis and perpetuation, with particular emphasis on its ability to mimic host autoantigens. We showed that Gag region exhibits high levels of sequence and structural homology to IgG1 Fc and it could provide a key epitope important for auto-reactivity in RA.
Analysis of how HERV-K10 may evoke immune responses in RA was broadened by investigation of serological cross-reactivity of novel anti-K10 polyclonal antibody (PAbMAG) with IgG1 Fc. We showed that PAbMAG cross-reacted with linear and conformational epitopes on IgG1 Fc. In a further development, we showed a significantly elevated mean IgG response to HERV-K10 epitopes in serum samples from RA patients when compared to other arthritides. These data suggest that molecular mimicry between viral and host proteins has the potential to lead to antigen-driven high-affinity RF IgG immunological reactivity in RA.
Finally, we broadened our study of mimicry in RA by the investigation of citrullinated autoantigens. Structural studies demonstrated high levels of homology between citrullinated fibrinogen, IgG1 Fc and HERV. We further explored how protein citrullination affects the cross-reactivity of autoantibody responses in RA. These experiments revealed that generation of neoepitopes through citrullination of HERV-K10 and autoantigens IgG1 Fc and fibrinogen enhanced the reactivity of RA sera to these targets. Moreover, we showed that RF autoantibodies could mediate responses to a classical ACPA target fibrinogen, only when it is citrullinated, in the absence of ACPAs. These data provide a new insight into the initiation and propagation of immunological responses in RA and how viral/host molecular mimics and citrullination could modulate serum cross-reactivity profiles in RA.
Al Qasimi, Shaikha Khuloud Humaid (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-02)
Due to the rapid growth and development which occurred during the last century the United Arab Emirates witnessed dramatic changes after oil discovery and the economic boom. This affected the building and construction sector that formed the urban fabric of the country.
The four fundamental architectural heritage elements of the UAE are the mashrabiya, the wind tower, the courtyard and the broken entrance, these essential architectural heritage elements were efficiently implemented in traditional buildings. In the context of the contemporary; preservation challenges are experienced particularly when foreign architectural design is seen to be increasing dominating the cityscape and the architectural heritage elements are being misused neglecting their functionalities. This research aims to analyze and compare the efficiency of architectural heritage elements in the contemporary buildings and seeks to gather thorough rationale and logical interpretation in heritage elements.
In order to investigate these four architectural heritage elements further, ‘case study ‘methodology has been used to inspect the performance of four local contemporary buildings and a comparison technique ( Comparative Analysis ) was conducted to better understand the outcomes of the analysis. The case study research is being preferable as a strategy due to the exploratory nature of the research and it essentially responds to research questions that seek explanation rather than experimentation.
This research diverse from the usual traditional and contemporary comparison of heritage elements and focuses on comparing their reliability and functionality when addressed in contemporary buildings. It asserts that preservation must be in mind as a pre-requisite towards interpretation of heritage elements and ensures that currently more advanced technologies can be fully exploited to embrace traditional elements to achieve development requirements.
MBZIBAIN, AURELIAN (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-07)
The rate of adoption of renewable energy (RE) production and associated enterprises onfarms in the UK has been lower than expected suggesting that the UK government’s energy, agricultural and climate change objectives may not be achieved. The aim of this research is to investigate why this is the case by assessing the uptake, motivations, constraints and the factors affecting farmers’ RE investment intentions. Building on extant research literature (institutional theory, social cognition theory, theory of planned behaviour and the resource based view) a novel comprehensive and multidimensional model of entrepreneurial intentions was developed and tested using principal component, path and multivariate regression analysis techniques. Data were collected to test the model through a sample of 2000 farmers in the West Midlands Region of the UK. Of the 393 farmers who responded, 14% adopted RE enterprises, with half of adopters reporting slight to significant improvements in farm business performance in 2009. Solar panels were the most popular of the RE technologies available to farmers, compared to biomass related technologies. The study found that the most influential personal level factors contributing to the adoption of RE and associated technologies were cognitive such as the level of education. Of current 338 non-adopters, 66% might decide to invest in RE technologies over the next five years. For these potential adopters, the study shows that the type of tenure, educational attainment and the type of farm business diversification activity in which a farmer is engaged are the most significant personal and farm business situational factors which influence farmers’ RE investment intentions though contrary to expectation current non-adopters assessed the policy support framework more favourably than current adopters. The explanation of this seems to be connected with timing, in that two very positive and encouraging signals in relation to ii Feed in Tariffs (2010) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (2011) were underway or near introduction before this research took place. The study provides the first empirical evidence of the effects of the multidimensional measures of the country’s institutional profile on farmers’ RE investment intentions. Secondly, it clarifies the distinct role played by national formal and informal institutions on farmers’ investment intentions showing that informal institutions and not formal regulatory factors have a direct effect on farmers’ intentions to invest in RE enterprises. Thirdly, the investigation reveals that social acceptability of entrepreneurship in the RE sector is negatively related to investment intentions and moderates the efficacy of formal government policies in influencing entrepreneurial behaviour in the RE sector. The study concludes that any study that relies only on one type of institution will be making significant prediction mistakes. This study provides further support for cognitive based process models of intentions by showing strong significant positive effects of perceived self-efficacy and perceived desirability of RE enterprises on investment intentions. In fact, the study shows that farmers’ attitudes towards RE explain the highest amount of variance in investment intentions over and above the combined effect of external resource and institutional factors. The study illustrates that perceived self-efficacy and perceived desirability of RE enterprises mediate the effect of the rich set of exogenous variables investigated in this study on investment intentions and argues that policy makers need to focus on improving the regulatory, cognitive and normative institutional environments as a way to improve attitudes towards RE and consequently their intentions to invest in these enterprises.
This thesis examines the lives of a group of Midland women in the period c. 1760-1860. They were the wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of the middle-class entrepreneurial and professional men of the region. During this period the Midlands produced individuals who expanded production and commerce, often with little technical innovation, but with a shrewd sense of what was marketable. Men such as the Wedgwoods, Boultons and Kenricks built businesses, sponsored canals and highways, and invented, produced and sold an ever-expanding supply of goods world-wide. Yet while the lives of such men have been celebrated, the women of these families have often been overlooked. They are the focus of this thesis, which will address this gap in the history of the entrepreneurial and professional families of the Midlands.
Examining the identities of these women through a range of archival and printed sources, both as individuals and as members of families, communities, networks and organisations, particular attention is paid to changing social and cultural attitudes. The thesis will investigate whether and how their experiences contributed to the wider debates on women’s roles in this period, examining the role of networks in assisting women to operate in a variety of spaces, broadening their political consciousness, and questioning what, if any, generational changes are visible. The thesis will argue that in this period, middle-class women negotiated social and cultural conventions of class and gender through a variety of roles which empowered them to shape their own identities. A microhistory study such as this highlights the more subtle and complex efforts made by women in search of autonomy, filling in gaps created in broader studies. In revealing contradictions of the norm, a more nuanced view of women’s experiences can also emerge. The thesis aims to extend existing knowledge in the field of social and cultural history by researching the experiences of these middle-class women of the Midlands who, for the most part, notwithstanding their achievements as businesswomen, religious figures and contributors to science and literature, have escaped the notice of scholars of women’s history. Yet knowledge of women’s activities beyond feminist campaigns can broaden our understanding of what may have been important to their social group. They all had something to say, even the quieter ones. In examining their activities this thesis restores their social and cultural histories and, by highlighting their concerns and interests, allows a more inclusive picture of British middle-class women’s experiences in the period 1760 to 1860 to emerge, with some surprising results.
Ponomareva, Natalia (University of Wolverhampton, 2014)
The rapid development of Internet technologies has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of Internet users who create content online. Usergenerated content often represents people's opinions, thoughts, speculations and sentiments and is a valuable source of information for companies, organisations and individual users. This has led to the emergence of the eld of sentiment analysis, which deals with the automatic extraction and classi cation of sentiments expressed in texts. Sentiment analysis has been intensively researched over the last ten years, but there are still many issues to be addressed. One of the main problems is the lack of labelled data necessary to carry out precise supervised sentiment classi cation. In response, research has moved towards developing semi-supervised and crossdomain techniques. Semi-supervised approaches still need some labelled data and their e ectiveness is largely determined by the amount of these data, whereas cross-domain approaches usually perform poorly if training data are very di erent from test data. The majority of research on sentiment classi cation deals with the binary classi cation problem, although for many practical applications this rather coarse sentiment scale is not su cient. Therefore, it is crucial to design methods which are able to perform accurate multiclass sentiment classi cation. iii The aims of this thesis are to address the problem of limited availability of data in sentiment analysis and to advance research in semi-supervised and cross-domain approaches for sentiment classi cation, considering both binary and multiclass sentiment scales. We adopt graph-based learning as our main method and explore the most popular and widely used graph-based algorithm, label propagation. We investigate various ways of designing sentiment graphs and propose a new similarity measure which is unsupervised, easy to compute, does not require deep linguistic analysis and, most importantly, provides a good estimate for sentiment similarity as proved by intrinsic and extrinsic evaluations. The main contribution of this thesis is the development and evaluation of a graph-based sentiment analysis system that a) can cope with the challenges of limited data availability by using semi-supervised and crossdomain approaches b) is able to perform multiclass classi cation and c) achieves highly accurate results which are superior to those of most stateof- the-art semi-supervised and cross-domain systems. We systematically analyse and compare semi-supervised and cross-domain approaches in the graph-based framework and propose recommendations for selecting the most pertinent learning approach given the data available. Our recommendations are based on two domain characteristics, domain similarity and domain complexity, which were shown to have a signi cant impact on semi-supervised and cross-domain performance.
Preston-Hough, Peter Norman (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-04)
The conflict in the Far East between 1941 and 1945 is occasionally referred to as the “Forgotten War” in Britain and this description extends to the way the campaign’s air war has been analysed. However, the role of air power in Burma was vitally important to the campaign, in particular the attainment of air superiority in order to facilitate supply and close support operations. The foundation of these operations was dependent on the Allies achieving and maintaining air superiority and latterly air supremacy over the Japanese. This thesis will analyse how the Allies lost air superiority during the initial exchanges, and then how technical and material difficulties were overcome before air superiority was won in 1944 and air supremacy was gained in 1945. It will analyse the importance of the RAF’s tactics, early warning systems, equipment, training and counter-air offensive in the theatre between 1941 and 1945. Furthermore, the thesis will demonstrate how Japanese industry, their war in the Pacific, and their use of air power in Burma ultimately affected the air war’s eventual outcome. The study will examine current historiography to question and corroborate existing views, as well as to reveal new information not previously published.
Wali, Aisha Roshan Mohamed (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-11)
The hardship of cancer is continuously increasing and is rapidly spreading globally. At present, almost one-third of newly discovered potential therapeutics have poor pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutical properties. Chemotherapeutic agents known to be the most effective treatment, lack tumour specificity and suffers from poor solubility. The lack of specificity results in severe side effects in off-target tissues, whereas poor soluble drugs exhibit short half-life in the bloodstream and high overall clearance rate. Amphiphilic block copolymers based on hydrophobic dendrons have shown to be a promising strategy to enhance the solubility of hydrophobic drugs, prolong circulation time, minimise non-specific uptake, and allow for specific tumour-targeting through the EPR effect. Herein, we have proposed the development of a new safe and more specific non-viral vector system based on peptide dendronised polymeric micelles to enhance the delivery of hydrophobic drugs into liver cancer cells. G3(PLLA and OGPLLL) arginine dendron of third generation bearing eight peripheral hydrophobic or cationic groups (PBF and BOC or guanidine groups) were synthesised in high yield, identified and tested for purity using NMR, MS and TLC. A series of three amphiphilic system characterised by different hydrophilic pullulan derivatives segments were then synthesised using Huisgen azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition between pullulan (P), lactosylated pullulan (P(Lac)) and pullulan bearing disulphide linkage (PSS) with the G3 dendron to lead amphiphilic block copolymers P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA, respectively. Hydrophilic pullulan and lactobionic acid were selected for amphiphilic modification, aiming at specific asialoglycoprotein receptors recognition onto hepatocytes cells in the liver. Macromolecular structures of amphiphilic P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA and PSS-PLLA were able to self-assemble spontaneously into spherical nanoarchitectures of sizes less than 90nm with low polydispersity in the aqueous media, which was confirmed by CAC, DLS and TEM. Furthermore, the polyaromatic anticancer drug Doxorubicin (Dox) was selectively encapsulated in the hydrophobic core through multiple interactions with the dendron, including π-π interactions, hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Such multiple interactions had the merits of enhanced drug loading capacity (>16%), excellent stability against dilution, and excellent sustained release property. Results showed that a high number of hydrophobic segments within a micellar core enhance higher loading efficiency of hydrophobic drugs, whereas, an increase of surface hydrophilicity or an increase in the length of the hydrophobic segment, both have an effect in reducing the micellar size and CAC value. The disulfide-containing PSS-PLLA micelles were able to co-encapsulate both hydrophobic drugs Dox and Curcumin (Cur) which could simultaneously be co-released in high rate from the carrier (>80wt% in 60hours) in response to the high redox potential environment. Most importantly, the release of Dox from the carrier at pH 5 enhanced the release of curcumin, whereas curcumin, in turn, would improve the efficiency of Dox anticancer activity by overcoming Dox MDR. Such a delivery system provides a promising approach for combination therapy in cancer. The cell viability assay presented that the blank micelles had excellent biocompatibility both in the normal and tumour cells. Moreover, loaded drugs nanoparticles could be effectively internalised into the hepatoma carcinoma cells, and Dox-Cur-PSS-PLLA dramatically inhibited cell proliferation. Also, cationic dendron conjugated pullulan (P-OGPLLL) could efficiently condense DNA with excellent hemocompatibility and high gene transfection in Hela and Hek293T cells. Thus, this work offers an effective strategy of designing a non-viral system and the P-PLLA, P(Lac)-PLLA, PSS-PLLA and P-OGPLLL nanocarriers serve as a reliable drug/gene delivery nanoplatform to enable the improvement of the bioavailability, targetability, efficacy and overcome MDR of therapeutic agents.
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