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Centre for Innovation Policy Research

We co-create knowledge through collaborative research on innovation which contributes to place-based policy development across Wales and the world.

We conduct policy-relevant research on creativity, innovation and the economy alongside collaborators from organisations across the public, private and third sectors in the UK and internationally.

Our research has a particular focus on the spatial and place-based nature of innovation. We promote sustainability and responsible innovation when identifying and developing policy-relevant research findings.


We develop distinctive and impactful research that builds from an inter-disciplinary base of expertise and deploys multiple methods to analyse and inform innovation policy development. Our activities include:

  • conducting high-quality research
  • producing research outputs
  • generating research income
  • promoting knowledge exchange and collaboration on innovation policy
  • building networks to encourage policy-relevant research on innovation
  • informing policy development in Wales, the UK and internationally


We develop evidence-based understanding of the development, delivery and outcomes of innovation policy, broadly drawn but with a particular how focus on place-based activity.

For example, we are interested in how regional actors can rebuild their economies through innovative, place-based approaches to economic development.

This might include analysis of new approaches centred on, for example, the leveraging of public procurement, the use of innovation policies to promote economic activity such as city deals, challenge prizes and small business research initiatives, and the role of higher education institutions in economic development and regional innovation.

In examining the complex non-linear dynamics of innovation policy in practice, our research builds on the multi-disciplinary expertise of CIPR’s members.

For example, our previous research has drawn on work addressing complex adaptive systems and the ‘inhabited institutions’ perspective in organisation theory.

The centre’s future research will also draw on institutional theories of organisational change to examine how policy innovation produces practice change and how these are promoted and sustained.

We are also interested in partnering with policy makers and public sector bodies in the delivery of innovation policy through action research approaches.

Welsh Government

The Innovation Advisory Council for Wales (IACW) was invited by the Welsh Government, in late 2020, to begin a process of reviewing the innovation landscape in Wales and informing plans to develop a refreshed innovation policy for Wales.

IACW commissioned the Centre for Innovation Policy Research at Cardiff University to investigate the current state of innovation in Wales and consider the key issues in developing future policy. This report, which was submitted on 31 March 2021, represents a starting point to debates to be held over the next few months.

The CIPR team of Rick Delbridge, Dylan Henderson and Kevin Morgan held discussions with over 50 stakeholders across the innovation ecosystem and also undertook a review of secondary data. In the report, they provide an overview of the current state of innovation in Wales, review the support available for research and innovation, consider what will be needed to prepare for the future and offer recommendations to help shape the future Welsh innovation landscape.

The report is available on the Business Wales website.

Carmarthenshire County Council

Carmarthenshire County Council (CCC) commissioned CIPR to undertake work to inform the development of their innovation strategy for the region. CCC has been one of the most pro-active in Wales in addressing the twin threats of Brexit and Covid. It established an independent Business Advisory Group to help the authority to design and monitor a post-Covid economic recovery strategy in 2021 and it has been a pioneer in winning successive awards under the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund. And it was successful with 12 of its 13 bids to the UK-managed Community Renewal Fund. The commissioning of this report is arguably another sign of the council’s pro-active approach to local innovation and development.

The CIPR team was led by Kevin Morgan and included Dylan Henderson and Rick Delbridge. The aims of the commission were both general and particular. The general aim was to identify proposals to support the recovery and restructuring of Carmarthenshire’s economy through innovation. The particular aims were to explore the contribution of certain key sectors, specifically: the role of the country council and the wider public sector, especially with respect to the use of public sector spending power to support innovation; and to focus in particular on the Foundational Economy; Health and Wellbeing; Digital innovation; and the impact of Climate Change and the prospects of a Green Recovery by harnessing the potential of the Circular Economy. The project involved desk-based analysis of key documents and consultations with 50 stakeholders. In collaboratively drafting the final report with the CCC, the CIPR team developed a strategy to promote and support innovation in Carmarthenshire. This strategy was launched at an event in May 2023.

Read the report, Exploring the innovation prospects for Carmarthenshire.

Innovation for All - The challenge of free school meals in Wales

Innovation for All workshop video

One of the most ambitious policies that emerged from the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Labour Government and Plaid Cymru was the commitment to deliver Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) to all primary school children in Wales. Although this is a highly laudable new policy commitment, it is also a very challenging policy goal when local authorities are already struggling to maintain existing services amidst the twin pressures of tight budgets and the rapidly escalating costs of food and fuel.

This Innovation for All seminar, facilitated by Professor Kevin Morgan, addressed the various dimensions of the UFSM challenge, focusing in particular on the three most common problems:

  • the infrastructure (kitchens and dining rooms) to accommodate the increased numbers of children
  • the staffing issue of extra hands or additional hours for existing catering staff
  • the procurement of nutritious food

Kevin Morgan is an advocate for food sustainability and has contributed to the latest Welsh Government report on embedding sustainability into food procurement: Buying Food Fit for the Future.

Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund

CIPR is partnering with the Cardiff Capital Region to develop and deliver a Challenge Fund. The purpose of the CCR Challenge Fund programme is to create commercial opportunities for companies, who are invited to propose solutions to major societal challenges identified through a competitive process by public bodies. The £10m Challenge Fund programme will run over three and a half years and includes £2m provision for research, management and operational activities that will be undertaken by CIPR in partnership with the CCR.

The Challenge Fund programme offers an opportunity for CU researchers to shape and develop a challenge fund initiative, undertaking primary research that informs the development of new policy and practice in the operation and delivery of the fund, while inputting to the practical application of research that contributes to public services innovation. This builds on the previous work of CIPR’s co-convenors and anticipates future opportunities as challenge funds are increasingly part of policy approaches to economic development and innovation.

The Sustainable Production and Supply of Food Challenge

Our current Food Challenge builds upon CIPR's work in food-related areas, and Professor Kevin Morgan is featured in our video introducing the challenge.

Food challenge video

Innovation of Future Public Services (Infuse)

Infuse is an innovation and research programme designed to build skills and capacity for public services across the Cardiff Capital Region.

Funded by Wales European Funding Office European Social Fund, Infuse is a collaboration between Cardiff University, Y Lab, Nesta, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Office and the ten local authorities that make up the region.

The programme will be built around opportunities to tackle real-life questions, driven by the biggest challenges faced by the region.

Innovation for All

Challenge-oriented innovation and a mission approach to innovation and economic development are emerging as important areas in innovation policy but practical experience of these remains limited.

CIPR has been awarded funding to launch a series of Innovation for All workshops to build capacity and capability of challenge-orientated innovation in the Cardiff Capital Region and to raise awareness of how much public service/charities/third sector can benefit from this approach.


CIPR and the School of Engineering are partnering with the University of Nottingham on a new project to investigate the potential of ammonia to fuel and decarbonise the long-haul shipping industry, and to boost the UK’s powertrain sector.

The £5.5m EPSRC-funded MariNH3 project aims to develop new and disruptive engine technology that will one day cut pollution emitted by today’s diesel-powered marine vessels.

The five-year MariNH3 programme will explore retrofit engine technology solutions that can address issues around engine efficiency, with minimised end energy use and reduced pollution.

As a group, the MariNH3 consortium firmly believe a mix of technologies will be required for the most effective decarbonisation of marine as there is no “silver bullet” fuel or technology to get to Net Zero. However, green ammonia is set to play a key role in marine’s decarbonisation efforts.

Meet the team

Academic staff

Picture of Gillian Bristow

Professor Gillian Bristow

Head of the School of Geography and Planning

+44 29208 75388
Picture of Rick Delbridge

Professor Rick Delbridge

Professor of Organizational Analysis

+44 29208 76644
Picture of Kevin Morgan

Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor of Governance and Development

+44 29208 76090

Associated staff

Picture of Phillip Brown

Professor Phillip Brown

Distinguished Research Professor

+44 29208 74157
Picture of Luigi De Luca

Professor Luigi De Luca

Professor of Marketing and Innovation

+44 29208 76886
Picture of Shane Doheny

Dr Shane Doheny

Research Associate, Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund

+44 29225 11869
Picture of Timothy Edwards

Professor Timothy Edwards

Pro-Dean for Research, Impact and Innovation
Professor of Organisation and Innovation Analysis

+44 29208 76385
Picture of Arman Eshraghi

Professor Arman Eshraghi

Professor of Finance and Investment, Deputy Head of Section for Research, Impact and Innovation

+44 29225 10880
Picture of Susanne Frick

Dr Susanne Frick

Lecturer in Economic Geography

+44 29225 12468
Picture of Anna Galazka

Dr Anna Galazka

Lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation

+44 29208 76736
Picture of Marcus Gomes

Dr Marcus Gomes

Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies and Sustainability

+44 29208 74173
Picture of Jonathan Gosling

Professor Jonathan Gosling

Professor in Logistics and Operations Management

+44 29208 76081
Picture of Robert Huggins

Professor Robert Huggins

Professor of Economic Geography

+44 29208 76006
Picture of Zoe Lee

Dr Zoe Lee

Reader (Associate Professor) in Marketing

+44 29225 10885
Picture of Jane Lynch

Professor Jane Lynch

Professor of Procurement

+44 29208 76144
Picture of Abid Mehmood

Dr Abid Mehmood

Senior Lecturer in International Planning and Sustainability

+44 29208 76232
Picture of Daniel Prokop

Dr Daniel Prokop

Senior Lecturer in Economic Geography

+44 29208 79422
Picture of Toma Pustelnikovaite

Dr Toma Pustelnikovaite

Lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation

+44 29208 75062
Picture of Laura Reynolds

Dr Laura Reynolds

Lecturer in Marketing and Strategy

+44 29208 75704
Picture of Maki Umemura

Dr Maki Umemura

Reader in International Management and Business History

+44 29208 75484



Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Series Workshop 1- 18 March 2021

Session 1 - Professor Andrew Johnston

Workshop 1- Session 1| Prof Andrew Johnston

Session 2 - Dr Daniel Prokop

Workshop 1- Session 2 | Dr Daniel Prokop

Session 3 - Professor Michael Fritsch and team

Workshop 1- Session 3 | Prof Michael Fritsch and team

Session 4 - Dr Katharina Scheidgen and Ms Michaela Hruskova

Workshop 1- Session 4 | Dr Katharina Scheidgen, Ms Michaela Hruskova

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Series Workshop 2 - 25 March 2021

Session 1 - Dr Rhiannon Pugh

Workshop 2 Session 1| Dr Rhiannon Pugh

Session 2 - Dr Ben Spigel

Workshop 2 - Session 2 | Dr Ben Spigel

Session 3 - Professor Shiri Breznitz

Workshop 2 - Session 3 | Prof Shiri Breznitz

Session 4 - Professor Robert Huggins Professor Piers Thompson

Workshop 2 - Session 4 | Prof Robert H


The future of skills in the fourth industrial revolution (Virtual Summer School 2022)

It is widely believed that digital disruption is transforming all aspects of the economy and society. This disruption is seen to be driven by advances across interdisciplinary fields leading to technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, additive manufacturing, synthetic biology, smart materials, etc.

This session explores different interpretations of the fourth industrial revolution and the role of digital technologies in (re)shaping the future of work, education, and labour markets. Professor Brown presents a theory of ‘job scarcity’ rather than ‘labour scarcity’, which does not signal the end of work, but the need for a fundamental reassessment of current public policy.

The future of skills in the fourth industrial revolution video

Innovation in procurement and supply chain management (Virtual Summer School 2022)

‘Innovation is the new quality’ – it seems that innovation is mentioned in almost every strategy document or values statement. If you are a procurement professional or a supplier, what does innovation mean to you?

During this session, Jane and Oishee outline some of the enablers and barriers to drive more innovation in Wales.

Innovation in procurement and supply chain management video

Thought leadership

In an interview with Business News Wales, Professor Rick Delbridge discussed the reinvigorated focus on innovation both in Wales and as part of the UK’s Research and Development initiatives.

As an input to these debates, the Centre for Innovation Policy Research recently undertook a review of current innovation policy in Wales. This revealed an appetite for a more ambitious and inclusive innovation agenda. What do these developments imply for Wales and how is Cardiff University responding to these?

Listen to Professor Delbridge on the Business News Wales podcast


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