ENU Research &  Innovation Blog

The Role of Social Sciences in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

Dr Christopher Cramphorn, Associate Professor of Enterprise and Innovation at the Business School, was recently awarded internal funding from the ISCF Partnership Development Fund to attend an exciting event exploring the important role of Social Sciences in Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

His reflections from the day and key take away points are as follows:

A fascinating day at the ‘Catching the Wave: Social Science and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’ event, hosted by the Innovation Caucus in Sheffield. Discussions focused on the role of social sciences within the £4.7bil ISCF and how to connect with potential collaborators. More details of the challenge areas can be found here.

The Deputy Director of Strategy at Innovate UK indicated that interdisciplinary endeavours (i.e. STEM working with business and social sciences) are forming a major selection criteria for Wave 3 & 4 projects, particularly in enabling rapid adoption and diffusion of new technologies to solve UK productivity problems.

Some key questions (and opportunities) from the day:

  • How do we understand stakeholder (i.e. human) behaviours to ensure adoption of technologies, while reducing financial, economic, societal, and environmental risks and harm?
  • How do we understand and create new business models and opportunities using innovative technologies that aid UK productivity and economic development?
  • What are the best ways to work with industry to solve problems and commercialise innovations to enable opportunities for all?
  • How can we develop new (interdisciplinary) research data and opportunities from these industrial engagements?
  • How do the above feed into the skills and knowledge we teach our students?

… And given that there is still around £2bil available as part of the UK industrial strategy challenge fund, a pertinent question for ourselves at Edinburgh Napier University is:

  • How do we best develop interdisciplinary projects that work with industry and other universities to both access this funding and create high adoption, real world solutions for UK industrial challenges?

If you wish to find out more about the ISCF or have any questions about how the Partnership Development Fund so you can attend similar events, please get in touch with Georgina Jamieson (Knowledge Exchange Manager, RIO).

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