Celebrating 15 Years of Innovation at CIMR

Welcome to the Centre for Innovation Management Research’s 15th-anniversary celebration!

Founded in 2008 by our visionary Director, Helen Lawton Smith, alongside Odile Janne and Birgitte Andersen, CIMR has been at the forefront of promoting research and fostering innovation for a decade and a half. As we take a moment to reflect on our journey, we are proud to share some key milestones that have shaped CIMR and its members into the leading force it is today. If you would like to learn more about CIMR heritage, visit our full timeline page here.

Join us in celebrating the remarkable journey of the Centre for Innovation Management Research (CIMR) at our Anniversary Event!

2008 – A Humble Beginning

The CIMR was established by the esteemed Professor Helen Lawton Smith, who brought her experience from running the Oxfordshire Economic Observatory to create a similar institute at Birkbeck, University of London. Working closely with Odile Janne and Birgitte Andersen, who later became the Director of CIMR, Helen set the foundation for a research centre that would drive innovation and bring together internationally recognized scholars.

Notably, historic members such as Simona Iammarino, Daniele Archibugi, Andrea Filippetti, Fred Guy, Klaus Nielsen, and Grazia Ietto Gilles have been instrumental in contributing to CIMR’s international reputation. Their academic prowess and commitment to the centre have resulted in CIMR working papers, impactful workshops, and global recognition.

2010 to 2012 – Expanding Horizons

In 2010, the CIMR-affiliated Wiley journal, Strategic Change, took on the subtitle “Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance,” thanks to its sponsorship by Birkbeck, University of London. Professor Carlo Milana, Editor-in-Chief, and Professor Helen Lawton Smith, Associate Editor, played pivotal roles in shaping the journal’s direction. The collaboration continued until December 2022 when a new editor took the reins.

The year 2011 marked a period of expansion and outreach for CIMR. Professor Birgitte Andersen, one of the founding members, established the Big Innovation Centre, a London-based think-tank and innovation communications consultancy. Helen Lawton Smith resumed her role as CIMR Director, and the CIMR Working Papers series was launched to disseminate research by members, fellows, and stakeholders.

In 2012, the CIMR Working Paper series gained momentum with contributions from members like Luca Andriani, whose work delved into the impact of social capital on regional unemployment in Italy. Additionally, Andrew Atter‘s appointment as Entrepreneur-in-Residence brought a wave of entrepreneurial initiatives to the centre, including a Student-led Enterprise Hub and an Entrepreneurial mentoring program.

2013 – Hosting Key Conferences

CIMR hosted the prestigious Triple Helix XI Conference in London, which brought together academics, businesses, and governments to explore collaborative innovation to address global economic challenges. In the same year, CIMR released the first of many working papers that explored critical issues related to university-industry knowledge transfer performance.

2015 – Leadership and Engagement

With the appointment of Federica Rossi and Marion Frenz as Deputy Directors, CIMR expanded its collaboration with practitioners and international universities. Their efforts also bolstered the dissemination of research activities, enhancing the centre’s profile among national and international organizations.

2016 – Celebrating Diversity and Entrepreneurship

The Uddevalla Symposium on “Geography, Diversity, and Entrepreneurship,” hosted by CIMR in 2016, explored the connections between regional diversity and entrepreneurial activities. This event underscored CIMR’s commitment to fostering diverse perspectives in the realm of entrepreneurship.

2019 and Beyond – New Collaborations and Initiatives

In 2019, CIMR established collaborations with Kogod School of Business, American University, and Vaasa University, Finland, further expanding its research networks and international influence.

As the world faced unprecedented challenges in 2020, CIMR adapted swiftly by launching the ‘CIMR Debates in Public Policy‘ series. This initiative brought together researchers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers virtually to discuss themes around innovation, entrepreneurship, finance, and digital transformation.

CIMR’s commitment to knowledge dissemination remained strong with the introduction of quarterly newsletters and research-focused video series. These initiatives allowed members to showcase their cutting-edge research and fostered greater engagement with a broader audience.

2021 saw the CIMR Working Paper series reach a significant milestone with the publication of its 50th paper, while CIMR played a pivotal role in Birkbeck’s School of Business, Economics, and Informatics receiving the Small Business Charter accreditation.

In 2022, CIMR continued to strengthen its ties with other research groups, formally collaborating with UIC Barcelona’s Quality & Innovation for Service Excellence (QISE) group.

Looking Ahead – Celebrating 15 Years of Impact

As we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year, we are delighted to see CIMR flourish into an internationally renowned centre for innovation research. With the introduction of new initiatives and collaborations, the future looks bright as we continue to drive innovation, engage with SMEs, and make a meaningful impact on policy and practice.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all CIMR members, past and present, whose dedication and passion have made this journey possible. As we move forward, we remain committed to fostering innovation, advancing research, and building an enterprising world.

Here’s to many more years of impactful research and global collaboration!