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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.

Aims

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 (see Morgan K, Marques P. 2019. The public animateur: Mission-led innovation and the 'smart state' in Europe. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society. 12(23): 179-193).

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 organization theory.

The Centre’s future research will also draw on institutional theories of organizational change to examine how policy innovation produces practice change and how these are promoted and sustained (see Bristow G, Healy A. 2014. Building resilient regions: Complex adaptive systems and the role of the policy intervention. Raumforsch Raumordn, 72: 93-102; Delbridge R, Edwards T. 2013. Inhabiting institutions: Critical realist refinements to understanding institutional complexity and change. Organization Studies, 34(7): 927-947).

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.

Selected publications

Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund

CIPR is partnering with Y Lab and 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 and Y Lab 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 Y Lab and anticipates future opportunities as challenge funds are increasingly part of policy approaches to economic development and innovation.

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.

Academic staff

Professor Rick Delbridge

Professor Rick Delbridge

Professor of Organizational Analysis

Email
delbridger@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6644
Professor Gillian Bristow

Professor Gillian Bristow

Head of the School of Geography and Planning

Email
bristowg1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 5388
Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor Kevin Morgan

Professor of Governance and Development

Email
morgankj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6090

Associated staff

Professor Phillip Brown

Professor Phillip Brown

Distinguished Research Professor

Email
brownp1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 4157
Professor Luigi M. De Luca

Professor Luigi M. De Luca

Associate Dean for Doctoral Studies, Professor of Marketing and Innovation

Email
delucal@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0) 29 2087 6886
Dr Shane Doheny

Dr Shane Doheny

Research Associate, Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund

Email
dohenys1@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2251 1869
Professor Tim Edwards

Professor Tim Edwards

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

Email
edwardstj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6385
Dr Dylan Henderson

Dr Dylan Henderson

Lecturer in Management, Employment and Organisation

Email
hendersond3@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6928
Professor Robert Huggins

Professor Robert Huggins

Professor of Economic Geography, Director of Research and Innovation

Email
hugginsr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6006
Dr Zoe Lee

Dr Zoe Lee

Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Strategy

Email
leesh4@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2081 0885
Professor James Lewis

Professor James Lewis

Co-lead and Academic Director, Y Lab

Email
lewisj78@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 9874
Dr Jane Lynch

Dr Jane Lynch

Reader in Procurement

Email
lynchj2@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6144
Dr Daniel Prokop

Dr Daniel Prokop

Lecturer in Economic Geography

Email
prokopd@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 9422
Dr Maki Umemura

Dr Maki Umemura

Senior Lecturer in International Business

Email
umemuram@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)2920 875 484

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

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