CIMR Research in Focus 10: TRIGGER final report published and using new technologies to generate impact

Spring term brought the exciting news of the publication of the final report of the TRansforming Institutions by Gendering Contents and Gaining Equality in Research (TRIGGER) project. Led by CIMR Director Professor Helen Lawton Smith and Dr Viviana Meschitti (Huddersfield Business School), the project aimed to understand the under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine in academia and the institutional changes needed. TRIGGER has had a significant impact at Birkbeck, including the introduction of a permanent mentoring programme and a development programme for fostering female academic careers.

Promoting equality in research and innovation continues to be high on the CIMR’s agenda via Professor Helen Lawton Smith and Ayse Kaptaner’s project ‘Engaged scholarship: addressing regional inequalities in innovation opportunities for BAME and disabled entrepreneurs’. Helen is also guest editor for a Special Issue ‘Minority Groups in Entrepreneurship’ in Strategic change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance alongside Carla Susana Marques, Vitor Braga and João J. Ferreira.

Research into entrepreneurship informs teaching of our Business Innovation programmes. Dr Muthu De Silva and Professor Helen Lawton Smith share how this creates a unique education opportunity for Birkbeck students. We are constantly impressed by the inspirational business ideas of our students and their hard work and enthusiasm. Passion is an often overlooked but essential ingredient in entrepreneurship, so it was great to have the opportunity to explore entrepreneurial passion at a recent CIMR Debate in Public Policy.

The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic can still be felt all around us and its impact continues to be a focus of CIMR research. A recent paper by Ana Colovic, Annalisa Caloffi and Federica Rossi explores the government’s use of crowdsourcing during COVID-19. Dr Federica Rossi and colleagues explore how academic research generates arts and culture-related impact and the interventions that universities can implement to shape their knowledge exchange activity. Federica, Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent and Ugo Rizzo have recently guest edited a Special Issue on university-industry collaborations for inclusive innovation and sustainable development.

The aim of our Debates and Workshops in Public Policy is to provide a forum for researchers, practitioners and policymakers to come together, share ideas and learn from each other, ensuring research has impact beyond the academy. The opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies and the Internet of Things were discussed in the CIMR Debate ‘Regional economies and digital transformation’. We were delighted to welcome CIMR alumnus Jeremy Galpin to the series for an exploration of maximising the social value of infrastructure projects through digital technology.

As individual researchers, social media is proving increasingly useful to disseminate findings and to engage in discussions. We are grateful to Dr Bex Hewett, Associate Editor (Communications) at Human Resource Management Journal and Professor Brian Harney, DCU Business School for leading an insightful session on using social media to enhance research visibility. We are also delighted to welcome Gabriella Losito to the CIMR team as Social Media and Engagement Manager, ensuring we can reach more people with our work.

We would like to wish our community a restful Easter break and we hope that you will join us for our first CIMR Debate of the Summer term on Wednesday 27 April.