Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS
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Alejandra Navea Parra, Hien Dao

PHD Researchers at Alliance Manchester Business School.

Research with Impact

Hien Dao and Navea Parra have been awarded Doctorial Studies Awards.

Two first year AMBS PhD researchers — Hien Dao and Alejandra Navea Parra — have been awarded prestigious Doctoral Studies Awards from the Research and Development Management Association (RADMA).

Hien Do

The title of Hien’s PhD is AI-enabled innovation and the changing nature of organisational learning. After completing her Masters at Australia National University in Business Information Systems in 2021, she was keen to continue to explore the increasing role that AI and machine learning plays in the wider innovation process.

“Innovation is critical for any organisation to sustain and grow, and in the years ahead machine learning will continue to replace many existing innovation activities across business. But at this moment in time we don’t know exactly how things are going to change.

“The increasing use of AI and its components as a new source of creativity has made humans no longer the only ones capable of learning and contributing to an organisation’s stock of knowledge. So my research aims to study how AI will alter the ways through which knowledge is created, transformed, and retained in innovation, and the connection between individual and organisational learning.”

In particular Hien, who is from Vietnam, is researching the pharmaceutical industry where recent vaccine development has demonstrated the need for new methods of drug discovery and where there is growing interest in the use of applying AI tools to drug research and development.

As she adds: “The pharmaceutical industry is an important player within the UK and globally, and big pharma companies also pay a lot of attention to knowledge management so are an ideal environment for my studies. My insights will inform the current debate in information systems, innovation management, and organisational research studies in terms of how AI can reshape innovation and contribute to a new view of organisational learning and innovation management theories."

Alejandra Navea Parra

Alejandra has moved to Manchester from Santiago, Chile, where she worked as an International Trade and Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer with a focus on international IP negotiations at bilateral and multilateral levels.

While working in the IP division of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs she negotiated IP matters in relation to several Free Trade Agreements, including with the EU and with EFTA states. She has also represented Chile at different WIPO committees held in Geneva, including the Committee on Development and IP.

At AMBS her research is focusing on IP, technology contracting, start-ups and venture capital funding. She says the motivation for taking up the PhD was that she was keen to expand her knowledge and skillset beyond the legal area, and because she believes that more interdisciplinary research is key to achieving greater societal goals.

“I was really keen to do some interdisciplinary research looking at how IP can help start-ups and I was drawn to study in the UK because it is one of the global leaders in the whole field of innovation. So this is a big opportunity for me to learn in a country which is really leading the way in terms of its innovation eco-system."

Her research is specifically looking at how small businesses can benefit from good IP management in terms of attracting funding. “During the last three decades we have witnessed a transition towards knowledge-based economies. For instance, in 2020 intangible assets comprised 90% of business value within the S&P 500 companies. As such, managing IP has become a really important part of ensuring sustainable business growth, and my research will help understand how start-ups can better manage their intangible assets through IP."

Both researchers say the scholarships will not only give their studies greater exposure but help connect them with practitioners.

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