Manchester Institute of Innovation Research


Research engagement

The Institutes mission to combine rigour with relevance lies at the heart of our engagement activities as we help clients understand the dynamics of science and innovation.

Our engagement is based on the whole spectrum of our research and is driven both by us in terms of new concepts, evidence and tools, and also by our outside stakeholders.

The variety of partners for whom we have undertaken research projects illustrates the spectrum of our engagement. These partners include:  UK government departments, ministries and associated agencies; business and industry; local and regional actors; foreign governments and agencies; supra-national organisations.

The Institute is a member of a number of international research networks including the European Forum for the Study of Research and Innovation Policies (EU-SPRI), The European Techno-Economic Policy Support Network (ETEPS), the European Network on the Economics of the Firm (ENEF) and the Innovation Co-Lab

Recent highlights

The Institute was commissioned by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to produce a set of guidelines to inform ongoing government reviews of its research establishments. The report was subsequently referred to both in Research Professional and in speeches by former Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts. Work in this area is continuing under the ESRC-funded MOST project.

UK Wildfire Policy and Practice

UK Wildfire Policy and Practice:

Research on the risk and cost of wildfire has altered government policy, changed firefighting practice and help conserve a National Park. Advice to the Resilience & Emergencies Division of the Department for Communities & Local Government in 2012 ahead of a submission to the Cabinet Office helped build the case for inclusion of wildfire in the Government’s National Risk Assessment.

Demand-side Innovation Policy and Public Procurement of Innovation

Demand-side Innovation Policy and Public Procurement of Innovation:

The research has made a substantial contribution to changing the direction of innovation policy in the UK, at EU level and in other OECD countries. This has been done by developing theoretical and empirical underpinnings for demand-side innovation policies, notably in the use of large-scale public procurement budgets to drive innovation. The team’s work is heavily cited and quoted in high level policy documents and has led to the design and application of several new types of policy instrument.

Security and Defence Innovation logo

Security and Defence Innovation:

Research on the changing dynamics of defence technological innovation led to policy and practice change including: a changed approach to the strategic management of technology in a leading UK based defence and aerospace multinational company contributing to a radical shift in its funding and a new emphasis on open innovation; the decision by the Swedish government not to pursue the privatisation of its government defence research laboratories (FOI); and contributing to the development of European Commission policy on security industrial policy.

Innovation research impact on UK and European water policy and regulatory practice

Innovation research impact on UK and European water policy and regulatory practice:

Research during 2005–2012 into water sector technological innovation provided an evidence base that changed UK and European policy and practice. The research led to an extended remit for an independent review of UK water sector competition to include also innovation; underpinned sections on innovation in new UK water policy; inspired incentive reforms by the economic regulator, Ofwat and informed strategy for two high-level European innovation/technology platforms.  Read more

Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) logo

Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) as Innovators and Catalysts of Innovation in ‘Systems of Innovation:

KIBS are a sub-set of business service firms that are now recognised as being especially innovative and dynamic and, more importantly, act as intermediaries and catalysers of innovation within wider ‘systems of innovation. As such, they largely complement the knowledge development and diffusion roles of universities and the public science base. Researchers at the Institute were the first to research KIBS and their systemic roles which have been recognised and adopted into industrial and innovation policies by the UK Government, the European Commission, the OECD, Tekes in Finland, and others. Read more

About us

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research is a centre of excellence in the field of innovation studies, building on a 50-year tradition of innovation and science studies in Manchester.

Get in touch

  •  Postal Address: 
    Alliance Manchester Business School
    Booth Street West
    M15 6PB, UK

  • Email:

  • Phone: +44 (0) 161 306 1320

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