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Latest Innovation Caucus projects: The impact of our recent work

The Innovation Caucus provides incisive, current social science research to Innovate UK (IUK), the UK’s national innovation agency, and the Economic and Social Research Council. In our concise reports, we offer suggestions to address the latest challenges faced by policy makers in the UK innovation and enterprise landscape.  

Our recent research for IUK and the ESRC has covered diverse topics in innovation and enterprise, including:

Healthy Ageing

In our report for IUK’s Healthy Ageing Challenge, The Healthy Ageing Challenge:  Defining Innovation and Shaping Support in a Hybrid Domain, we use up to the minute place-based analysis to map the challenging and complex landscape of healthy ageing in the UK. In our recommendations, we address the challenges of  supporting and strengthening innovation in the healthy ageing ecosystem.

“We welcome the findings of the reports, which have shed fresh light on the complexities we have faced in delivering the Challenge.  In particular, in framing this as a hybrid domain, the study has found that the process of innovation is different from that found in typical innovation ‘clusters’ where factors such as networking behaviour, governance, anchor assets, shared knowledge bases, partnerships, or knowledge spillovers provide the key ingredients.”
George MacGinnis, Healthy Ageing Challenge Director UK Research & Innovation

Read more about the study and access the full report here  


The role of Further Education Colleges in innovation and enterprise in the UK
In our literature review for the Productivity Institute sponsored by the Gatsby Foundation, FECs, innovation, and skills:  A literature review, we take an in-depth view of the role of the Further Education sector as a supplier of skills for the UK innovation and enterprise ecosystem. We highlight the challenges faced by this often misunderstood and undermined sector, and offer suggestions for strengthening its position in tackling the UK’s productivity shortfall. 

“We have been collaborating with the Innovation Caucus and Innovate UK to explore how we can engage and support Further Education Colleges to strengthen the UK innovation ecosystem”
Daniel Sandford Smith, Director Education Programmes Gatsby Charitable Foundation

Read more about the study and access the full report here


The development of a sustainability framework for use by Innovate UK in its funding calls
We were approached by IUK to develop a sustainability framework to assess the social and environmental impact of projects submitted to its funding calls.  Our team of academics from Oxford Brookes and Leeds Universities carried out an in-depth analysis of impact frameworks. The framework developed for IUK was based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework, resulting in a set of metrics designed to build understanding of the social and environmental impacts of Innovate UK’s funded projects. The framework will provide IUK with tools to embed more sustainability into its decision making.  

“This has been a really powerful project, and has the potential to make some big transformations in how we support innovation and business.”
Professor Alice Owen, University of Leeds

Read more about the Sustainability Framework project in our blog post


The potential for commercialising bioscience research in the UK
In our study commissioned by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), we reviewed the current bioscience innovation and commercialisation landscape in the UK.  Our findings are summarised in two reports: Understanding and articulating the nature of innovation and commercialisation in bioscience and Mapping the biotechnology and bioscience industry in the UK that provide fascinating insights into the state of the UK bioscience innovation and commercialisation ecosystem, and offer suggestions for ensuring that this vital area of UK enterprise is not ‘lost in translation’.

“Working with the Innovation Caucus has given us the evidence about the breadth of bioscience innovation supported by BBSRC, and highlights the need to ensure that the value of bioscience is not lost in translation.”
Nick Bassett, Associate Director, Innovation, Biological Technology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Read more about this study and access the full reports here


Understanding cluster growth potential in the UK
In Understanding Cluster Growth Potential, commissioned by Innovate UK, we have developed a framework to assist policy makers and their delivery agencies in understanding the potential of place-based innovation clusters in the UK.  In our recommendations, we explore the potential for the development of clusters through targeted investment and focus on how to strengthen cluster contributions to GVA, potentially contributing to the levelling up agenda. 

Three diverse case studies in the UK, cyber security, marine and maritime, and medical technology, informed the development of the analysis framework.  Following this, IUK approached us to extend the Clusters research. We are currently working on an additional 10 case studies, applying the framework to 5 further clusters that are of interest to UKRI and IUK. 

Access the first report here


Innovation Caucus reports can be downloaded from the Resources page of our website