This theme seeks to improve understanding of how the public research and higher education base, in particular research universities and intermediate R&D institutes, support technological emergence, industrial transformation, and national economic growth.


This theme aims to advance understanding of the different contributions of the public research and higher education base to addressing the innovation challenges of emerging technologies and industries (and associated societal challenges).  Particular attention is paid to the processes by which these contributions are made and the dynamic nature of these activities – how the functions of these actors vary at different stages of technological and industrial maturity; and how they vary in response to the evolving nature of the technologies, applications, and industries themselves.


This theme also explores the practical policy implications of these dynamics for the strategies and initiatives of both public research and higher education actors and funders. Of particular interest are the ways in which the programmes of research and higher education funding agencies can effectively support these actors to address emerging technology and industry innovation challenges; and the ways in which public research and higher education organisations (re)configure their structures, strategies and practices in response to the changing innovation needs of industry and society.



Key projects


Producing Evidence for Policy: Analysing Research and Innovation Data

Generating a more robust evidence base to address key issues facing policymakers and practitioners around how to strengthen the linkages and impact of the public research base on industrial innovation.


Building long term strategic university-industry partnerships

Exploring and better characterising the role and value of long-term strategic university-industry partnerships as they evolve through key stages of emergence, maturation and renewal.  It will also explore the capabilities and infrastructure necessary to manage and support them.



Developing place-based research and innovation funding programmes

Exploring and identifying the key issues funding agencies should consider when developing place-based research and innovation funding programmes as part of an industrial strategy.


University Strategic Responses to Strengthen the University-Industry Interface

Exploring university-industry interface strategies and initiatives at central university and departmental level dedicated; and how they respond and adapt to changing industrial, socio-economic, and political pressures



The Role of the Public Research Base in Attracting Corporate R&D

Exploring the role of the public research and higher education system, in attracting, retaining and growing corporate R&D investment, both domestic and foreign


For further information please contact:

Tomas Ulrichsen

T: +44 (1223) 339741


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