ISBE 2009 Conference Paper

Mather, A., Howells, J. & Cruickshank, L., 2009. IDEAS a knowledge platform for innovation competitive performance and economic development working paper.doc. In ISBE 2009. Liverpool.


The purpose of this case study is to explore and review the collaborative processes and outcomes involved in the setting up of a network and partnership of three universities, namely, Lancaster University Management School (together with ImaginationLancaster), University of Liverpool Management School and Manchester Business School.

The aim of IDEAS (Innovation Design Entrepreneurship and Science) is to establish and enhance the performance of firms and organisations at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus and those in the wider North West and UK business community. Essentially to put ‘new ideas into practice’ through research and knowledge transfer activity centred on innovation, competitive performance and economic development.


This case study explores the opportunities, barriers and drivers encountered in establishing the IDEAS network and partnership. We review the importance of stakeholder support, strategic alignment of the goals of the partner institutions, the importance of ‘neutral’ space and explore motivations and the experience of the individuals involved.


The case study reveals the difficulties and successes, the achievements and outcomes of this collaboration so far, including, an analysis of the processes involved in the formation of IDEAS, including which aspects of this particular collaboration have been successful and why?


IDEAS has been identified by policy makers and research councils as a potentially powerful model for work that combines innovative approaches to research and knowledge transfer that may offer itself to replication.


The case study highlights the issues, complexities and outcomes from a collaborative approach to knowledge transfer and research activity centred on innovation, competitive performance and economic development at large scale science facilities.