The Innovating University II

13 March 2017

Stian Westlake

Ministerial adviser to provide keynote lecture on clusters of expertise.

How can society get the most from research? It’s a question Cardiff University and the innovation foundation Nesta aim to tackle at two events exploring new ways of working.

Part of an annual series, The Innovating University II will link experts from the private, public and third sectors in a forum for examining new ideas and promoting collaboration.

Stian Westlake, Policy Adviser to Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, will give a public lecture on 21 March. He will look at innovation clusters – the regional networks of expertise that encourage researchers, policymakers and practitioners to share ideas and collaborate effectively.

Stian Westlake said: “Innovation depends on those remarkable places where ideas, talent, and skill come together..."

Stian Westlake

"Digital technologies are offering new ways to understand clusters and make the most of them."

Stian Westlake, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

A symposium on 22 March will take place in the University’s Hadyn Ellis Building. Sessions will focus on

  • how policy can help foster innovation
  • how working across academic disciplines can improve research impact
  • the ways innovation can be nurtured though new ‘laboratory’ approaches.

Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta: “'Universities are not only sources of new ideas, but also places that can experiment in how knowledge is created and shared, whether through MOOCs, labs, maker spaces or new centres based around emerging disciplines. We're interested in mapping not only what they could be doing but also what they should be doing to maximise their impact on the surrounding economy and society.”

Professor Rick Delbridge, Dean of Research, Innovation and Enterprise: “Universities are centres of knowledge creation and learning but are often unreflective of the processes and systems through which they undertake their work...”

Rick Delbridge

"What we’re seeking to do in these events with Nesta is to ensure expertise in innovation and experimentation are applied to universities as institutions."

Professor Rick Delbridge, Academic Lead for SPARK and University Dean of Research, Innovation and Enterprise, Professor of Organizational Analysis

The Innovating University II is part of a continued collaboration between the University and Nesta, which includes the development of both Y Lab and SPARK, the world’s first Social Science Research Park. A concept created with Nesta, SPARK will house academics alongside private, public and third sectors to design and test solutions to societal problems.

You can register for Stian’s lecture via the University’s webpages.

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