The Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management (CIMR) is a college-wide research Centre of Birkbeck, University of London. Launched in 2008, it undertakes international research focusing on multi-disciplinary academic, industrial and commercial themes relating to the management of innovation. It is a hub for enabling collaborations, teaching and sharing of research, ideas and practice to create impact and facilitate more effective management, commercialisation of innovation and the development of effective policy. Our researchers regularly publish in top quality journals, present at international conferences and undertake consultancy for national and international policy-making bodies and research for influential think tanks.

Its roles are to:

  • engage with academics, students, policy-makers and other stakeholders in current debates,
  • disseminate the results of research undertaken by the Centre’s academics, students and visitors, through reports, journal articles, seminars and conferences,
  • undertake research consultancy on topical issues,
  • showcase undergraduate and postgraduate teaching on the management of innovation by members of the Centre.
  • involve alumni in the Centre’s activities
  • engage with industry to investigate innovative processes, policies and practices.

How it works

CIMR has three categories of researcher:

  • Academic staff,
  • PhD students supervised by core academic staff,
  • Visiting Fellows.
    Visiting fellowships are honorary and are awarded to, individuals such as entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and policy-makers who can contribute valuable experience and insight and contribute to the CIMR’s research and teaching and outreach activities.

Research findings are disseminated and published in academic articles and the CIMR’s Working Paper Series . Helen Lawton-Smith is one of the Editors of the Journal, Strategic Change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance, which is hosted at CIMR and published by Wiley.

A key form of cross disciplinary engagement is through CIMR’s series of workshops, held on a termly basis, and through initiating and hosting international conferences. The events have a strong policy focus.

CIMR has recently launched a research and teaching partnership with the Kogod School of Business, American University in Washington.

CIMR is committed to gender equality and diversity.

Historical Activities

As part of our ongoing efforts we have run and hosted a number of different activities. Below is a sample:

Birkbeck Enterprise Hub

The Birkbeck Enteprise Hub was ran by the CIMR and our then Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Andrew Atter. Its goal was to be a student-led forum bringing the hottest entrepreneurial people and ideas into Birkbeck.

DIME Working Papers

The CIMR worked with the Dynamics of Institutions and Markets in Europe to produce a number of working paper on Intellectual Property Rights. Details can be found in our Publications section, and the associated DIME website.

Research Impact: Developing Analytics and Policy (RIDAP)

In December 2016, Birkbeck hosted a workshop on ‘Measuring the Impact of Academic Research: Best Practices and Open Questions’, which sought to provide an up-to-date assessment of recent research in the field of impact research, specifically to unpack some of the issues and concepts around impact and to have an informed policy debate around such issues.

The workshop concluded by announcing the creation of a new impact research and policy network, RIDAP, the running of a quarterly workshop series, and the establishment of a newsletter for the network on this topic. The RIDAP Briefing Paper #1 can be found in our Research section.


Transforming Institutions by Gendering Contents and Gaining Equality in Research (TRIGGER) was started in 2014 at Birkbeck and has grown since. It looks at increasing the number of women in those university sectors where they are underrepresented. TRIGGER has a website of its own.

Uddevalla Symposium 2016

The Uddevalla Symposium is a yearly symposium that looking at such topics as economic geography, entrepreneurship, international business, management, political science, regional economics, small business economics, sociology and urban and regional planning. The CIMR and Birkbeck hosted the 19th Uddevalla Symposium in 2016. You can find more information at the Uddevalla Symposium website.

Innovation Dynamics and the Role of the Knowledge Infrastructure

This project by Dr Marion Frenz and Dr Ray Lambert aimed to develop and strengthen the evidence base on the patterns of business innovation over time, including the implications for economic performance. In particular it brings together and extends evidence about the role of intellectual property, both formal rights and more strategic means of protecting innovations, and the interactions of IP with the knowledge infrastructure (the UK measurement system, the use of standards and accreditation, as well as design activities). It attempted to quantify these elements of the infrastructure and to link these with innovation modes and performance.

Health Ties

Framework 7 Programme HealthTIES was a consortium that gathered four of Europe’s top regions in biosciences, medical technology and health entrepreneurship: Medical Delta (West of the Netherlands), Oxford and Thames Valley (United Kingdom), Canton of Zurich (Switzerland), Biocat (Catalonia), and the mentoring region of Észak-Alföld in Hungary. The consortium was baked by the European Commission. The project involved the CIMR researchers; Helen Lawton Smith, Pierre Nadeau, Saverio Romeo, and Rupert Waters.

A selection of other projects involving the centre or affiliated academics.

  • U-KNOW: Understanding the relationship between knowledge and competitiveness in the enlarging European Union. EU Specific Targeted Research Project (STRP). 01/03/2006 – 28/02/2009: Birgitte Andersen is coordinating Work Package 3.2 on “An IPR Regime in Support of a Knowledge Based Economy”.
  • Project on Science and technology indicators to assess the competitive position of advanced countries, Italian National Research Council. (Daniele Archibugi)  2006-2009. Project led by Daniele Archibugi at CNR-IRPPS, Italy
  • Project on Organizational Innovation MEDOW, European Commission. (Collaborator: Daniele Archibugi) 2008-2010. Project led by Ned Lorenz at GREDEG-CNRS, France
  • Project on Science and Technology in Large and Small Firms, European Science Foundation. 2007-2009. Project co-directed by Daniele Archibugi, IRPPS-CNR, and Alfonso Gambardella, University Bocconi Milan
  • Project on Cosmopolitan Democracy: The State of the Art, Italian National Research Council. 2008-2009. Project led by Daniele Archibugi at CNR-IRPPS
  • Project on Measuring Innovation, Italian National Research Council. (Collaborator: Daniele Archibugi). January 2009 to December 2010. Project led by Hugo Hollanders for European Commission’s DG Enterprises, at Merit, The Netherlands.