When Science and Business Talk

On Friday, 4th May 2018, the Centre for Innovation Management Research held a workshop in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck.

Since the financial crisis over a decade ago businesses in Europe remained prudent in its investment in innovation. Urgently needed for economic growth is that substantially larger funds are put towards innovative endeavours. This was the headline message of our 2017 Green Paper and its related workshop on Investment for Economic Recovery in Europe. The solution we hailed was more public investment, and, in particular, more public investment that takes the form of science-push policies, on the premise that private innovation related investments ought to follow. When publicly funded research centres generated innovations able to create new companies and even new industries – while these cases are certainly sporadic – they often had such an economic and social impact to justify the priority of public investment.

This workshop aimed to follow up on this. We wanted to understand how we might best measure and observe engagement with businesses, what forms engagement takes, and how we might measure the downstream activities of businesses that spark off their interactions with a scientific centre. The meeting took place in the former Library of John Maynard Keynes which is now part of Birkbeck.

Workshop programme

  • 14:00. Registration
  • 14:10. Welcome addresses and introduction by Dr Andrea Filippetti, Italian National Research Council and CIMR, Birkbeck
  • 14:30 – 15:30. Round-table and discussion – Policy Instruments that Foster Business Engagement with Scientific Centres – Chair Dr Federica Rossi, CIMR, Birkbeck
    Participants: Dr Muthu De Silva, CIMR, Birkbeck; Dr David Wilkes, Innovate UK; Prof Jonathan Linton, Sheffield University
  • 15:30. Coffee
  • 15:45 – 16:45. Round-table and discussion – Evidence from Scientific Centres and Businesses – Chair Dr Marion Frenz, CIMR, BirkbeckParticipants: Dr Mike King, National Physical Laboratory; Mr Lorenzo Pradella, Co-Founder and CEO GreenBone; Dr Simon Philbin, Imperial College
  • 16:45 – 17:00. Summing up and farewell, Prof Daniele Archibugi, CIMR, Birkbeck and Italian National Research Council


Prof Daniele Archibugi interviewed four of our invited speakers:

Mr Lorenzo Pradella

Co-Founder and CEO GreenBone

Dr Muthu de Silva

Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Birkbeck

Prof Jonathan D. Linton

Chair in Operations and Technology Management and Director of the Emerging Technology Supply Chain (ETSC) Research Centre at the University of Sheffield, Foreign Co-Head of the Science Technology Studies Laboratory of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow

Dr Simon Philbin

Director of Programme Management at Imperial College London where he leads the Programme Management Office (PMO) focused on supporting a range of major research projects across the university.