The Dual Funding Structure for Research in the UK: Research Council and Funding Council Allocation Methods and the Pathways to Impact of UK Academics
A NEW REPORT FROM CBR and UK~IRC
This report, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), analyses the links between research performance, research funding models and the knowledge exchange activities and research motivation of academics in the UK. It looks at the UK system of dual funding support in which university research funding is provided by both institutional block grants from the Funding Councils based on quality assessment exercises and by funding through peer reviewed competition from the Research Councils.
The report provides a statistical analysis of the dual funding system and how it has changed since the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
The report also looks at the constraints that UK academics face when engaging with organisations outside their universities. It provides a detailed statistical analysis of the pattern of impact pathways of UK academics.
To download the full report, please click on the link below.
Small Business Research Initiative gets a major boost in the budget
20 March 2013
Article by Miriam Frankel and Rebecca Hill in Research Fortnight
The Small Business Research Initiative, which uses government procurement to drive innovation, is to receive at least a five-fold funding increase, Chancellor George Osborne has announced in his 2013 Budget.
The innovation charity Nesta has welcomed the announcement. In an interview with Research Fortnight, its head of innovation and economic growth, Louise Marston, said that the departments involved would now need to increase their skills to engage with the process.
"It requires you to think a bit differently about how you procure the services in the first place - it will take a little time to get the departments up to speed, but it should be very doable", she says. "Plenty of people in departments are thinking about big challenges, but they may not be the same people currently engaging with the process".
David Connell, a senior research fellow at the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge, told Research Fortnight that the announcement is "really excellent news" but warned that the "devil is in the detail".
"In scaling up the programme, it will be necessary for departments to plan very carefully the competitions they’re going to run to ensure they cover a range of technologies and times to market", said Connell, adding that the key issue will be to "ensure that that is spent through defined competitions and reported transparently through the TSB".
To read the full article please click HERE.
To read more about David Connell's work please click HERE.
UK~IRC Project Leader contributes to ESRC's Re-igniting Growth Report
Research findings on achieving long-term economic recovery
The Re-igniting Growth report examines some of the challenges the UK faces after the economic downturn and explores a range of initaitives or challenges to policy thatcould hep kickstart growth.
The report includes a series of interviews with key academics funded by the ESRC, including Dr Andy Cosh, Assistent Director of the CBR. As well as giving the recession historical context, many of the interviews take unconventional approaches to a range of issues and provide objective - and sometimes controversial - responses to the economic problems the UK is experiencing.
To download the report, please click here.
For further information please go to the ESRC website.
Growing Value: Business-University Collaboration for the 21st Century
This report is part of a series of reports as a result of a task force set up in 2011. The Enhancing Value Task Force was launched by the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) in conjunction with the UK~IRC to answer the question: 'How do we make the most of the UK research base?'
The ‘Growing Value’ report is the last in a series of four from the Enhancing Value Taskforce that has looked into enhancing the innovation and the productivity impact of UK R&D.
Delivering the industrial strategy -
how can government promote growth?
14 November 2012
"Intervene or stand back - what should be the industrial strategy for the UK?"
This was the topic of a debate organised by The Foundation for Science and Technology at the Royal Society. The three invited speakers were Sir John Parker, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Professor Alan Hughes. An audience of around 140 guests were invited with a background from business, parliament, Whitehall officials, the research community and guests with a special interest in the theme of the debate.
The talks and event summary are available on the Foundation's website here.
Using research for a competitive economy
31 October 2012
The report from the Heseltine Review published today, No stone unturned in pursuit of growth, looks at ways of making the UK economy more competitive - recommending a National Growth Council and distributing funds locally rather than through central government as some of the measures. Other recommendations include "long term stability of the core funding of science and research", a higher degree of collaboration between universities and employers to encourage placements, and partial sponsorship of student fees from firms in return for a fixed employment period after graduation.
Despite a policy focus on technology spin-offs from research, it is actually one of the least common forms of external knowledge exchange activity compared to interaction based on personal contacts, community and problem-solving. An ESRC-funded research project looking at university-industry knowledge exchange suggests that firms' motivations to interact with universities - rather than being restricted to technology development - are concerned with other aspects of management and business performance, such as service development, human resource management, training and marketing.
To read the full article click here.
To find out more about the CBR project click here.
The Centre for Business Research announces the new Chair of its Advisory Board
5 October 2012
The Centre for Business Research (CBR), based at Cambridge Judge Business School, is delighted to announce that Kate Barker CBE, has become the new Chair of its Advisory Board.
With a wealth of experience as a highly respected business economist, Kate's main priority is to help translate the CBR's research into policy and practice. She is currently a Senior Adviser to Credit Suisse and a non-executive director of three businesses. Within the public sector, she is a non-executive member of the UK Government's Office for Budget Responsibility and Chair of the Northern Ireland Economic Advisory Group.
Kate was a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) from 2001 until May 2010. During this period, she also led two major policy reviews for Government on housing supply and on land use planning. Before joining the MPC, she was Chief Economic Adviser at the CBI, and prior to that Chief European Economist at Ford of Europe.
Former Chair, Matthew Bullock, commented: "In the last 10 years, the Centre for Business Research has built a fantastic record of cross-disciplinary research on the growth of small and medium-sized companies, in the UK, the US and Europe, on evidence-based developments of Innovation Policies and on the role of law and softer governance techniques in shaping economic growth. I have greatly enjoyed working with such a talented team of researchers and leading their influential advisory board and I am therefore all the more delighted to hand over to Kate Barker."
On becoming the new Chair, Kate said; "The Centre for Business Research has a history of sound analysis of entrepreneurship and innovation. Robust understanding of these issues, and of corporate governance is more important than ever as the UK economy seeks a path out of prolonged underperformance. I am honoured to become Chair of the CBR's Advisory Board and to have the opportunity to work with its distinguished team."
CIHE-UK~IRC Task Force on Creating Value through Collaboration
This is the third in a series of linked reports published by The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) and the UK Innovation Research Centre (UK~IRC) Enhancing Value Task Force on gaining the most value from UK research, and in particular its publicly-funded research. The first report set the UK’s spend on R&D in an international context and the second assessed the impact of that expenditure. In this third review, the research team interviewed seventy-one top-level sources from both large and small firms, universities, government/regulators and charities to explore the challenges
and opportunities concerning the creation of value through collaboration. Focusing on four different sectors - construction, energy, pharmaceuticals and the converged creative, digital and IT industry - the review reveals the different innovation needs within and across these industries and highlights the main challenges to collaborative innovation that the UK faces to be competitive in the modern global knowledge economy.
CIHE-UK~IRC Task Force on impact of publicly funded R&D
The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) and the UK Innovation Research Centre (UK~IRC) Enhancing Value Task Force has published the second major report in the series arising from their research. His report by Alan Hughes and Ben Martin surveys a wide range of macro- and micro-economic literature on the way in which publicly financed R&D in the university sector is associated with socio-economic impacts. It provides a critique of studies focusing on rate of return calculations and argues for an approach using richer narrative based approaches emphasising intermediate outcomes. The report emphasises the extent to which socio-economic outcomes emerge only with long time lags and are frequently heavily skewed so that a handful of the most successful impacts arise from a small proportion of total funded research and are heavily dependent on complementary investments outside the university system.
Innovator in Residence
Internationally-renowned innovation expert, Professor Alan Hughes, has been appointed as the Queensland Government Innovator in Residence, based at UQ Business School. Professor Hughes is the Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies at the Judge Business School (UK), Director of the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge, Director of the UK Innovation Research Centre, and a UQ Business School Honorary Professor.
Andrew Griffiths, Dean of UQ Business School said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Alan Hughes to UQ Business School as the Queensland Government Innovator in Residence. Alan's appointment demonstrates the Queensland Government's commitment to fostering innovative business practices, plus enables us to acquire invaluable first-hand insights from a leading authority in the field. His work will undoubtedly bring significant benefits to UQ Business School."
Innovation resident an innovator
Queensland Government Innovator in residence
Two new ESRC-funded grants to carry out research on law and development issues awarded to CBR
A project on Labour Law and Poverty Alleviation in Low- and Middle-Income Countries will be funded under the joint ESRC/DFID Joint Scheme on International Development (Poverty Alleviation) (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/funding-opportunities/international-funding/esrc-dfid/index.aspx) from January 2013. The aim of the project is to develop a diagnostic tool or template to assist policy makers and regulators involved in labour law reforms in developing countries. The project will be directed by Simon Deakin of the CBR, working with Shelley Marshall of Monash University, Colin Fenwick and Corinne Vargha of the International Labour Office, Geneva, and Ajit Singh of the CBR. The research will take the form of case studies to be conducted in four countries (Cambodia, China, India and South Africa) and econometric analysis of data on a number of legal and economic indicators. The work will be carried out with the collaboration of local research partners in the case study countries.
Research on Law, Development and Finance in Rising Powers will begin in April 2013, under the auspices of the ESRC's research programme on Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/funding-and-guidance/funding-opportunities/15262/rising-powers-and-interdependent-futures.aspx). This project will examine the role of law in economic development in the 'rising powers' of Brazil, China, India and Russia. Specifically, it will analyse to what extent the quality of legal and other formal institutions has affected financial development and economic growth in these countries, and whether reliance on informal institutions poses an obstacle to their future growth. The project will adopt an inter-disciplinary, multi-methods approach, combining quantitative and qualitative analysis. The project will be directed by Simon Deakin for the CBR and will involve collaboration with researchers from Durham, Leicester, Loughborough and Oxford Universities, and with research partners in the case study countries.
NEW BOOK TITLE:
Hedge Fund Activism in Japan:
The Limits of Shareholder Primacy
by John Buchanan, Dominic Heesang Chai, and Simon Deakin
The book charts the recent history of hedge fund activism in Japan between 2000 and the full onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. The authors delve into the global development of the joint stock company as the principal legal form of business enterprise in market economies. Its strengths and weaknesses and the need for complementary mechanisms of corporate governance, both formal and informal, are examined.
Should companies be governed by shareholder value as in the USA and UK, or the firm-centric communitarian strand that has emerged in Japan since its post-war reconstruction?
In today's world two different conceptions of the company are competing for influence. The shareholder primacy view is dominant in the Anglo-Saxon world, but in other countries, including Japan, the corporate form is used to build sustainable enterprises based on complementary human and technological capabilities. During the 2000s, hedge funds based in the USA and UK challenged the hegemony of the Japanese 'community firm'. Contrary to the expectations of many investors and corporate governance specialists, this challenge failed. The book explores why. At first naïve to the raids of the hedge funds, Japanese companies resisted the Anglo-Saxon view that they should be run primarily for the 'pure' profit of shareholders. During a period of unprecedented market turmoil, the community firm approved to be a robust and resilient model.
What the authors say:
- The authors comment on the clash of values within corporate governance: 'We chart the progress of this debate, as it was conducted over several years through public dialogue between funds and boards, tender offers, litigation, and regulatory and bureaucratic responses. We examine why not just corporate managers but also many institutional investors in Japan resisted the activist hedge funds, and how they went about constructing that defence. We also make an assessment of why that defence, which was initially uncertain, was, in the end, largely successful'.
- They authors conclude: 'We do not believe that the community firm is a universally valid solution to the imperfections of the joint stock company, any more than is shareholder primacy. However, its focus on the organisational sustainability of the underlying business of the company may come to resonant well with corporate governance priorities in the aftermath of the global financial crisis."
Professor Simon Deakin comments:
'We used an evidence based approach to studying these two diametrically opposed models of corporate governance which were set against each other in an unusually clear way. The Japanese experience of hedge fund activism provided a rare opportunity to scrutinise, in a concrete setting, a clash of ideas. Previously we could only observe these practices indirectly or at a theoretical level, several removes from practice.
'Hedge funds represent only a small part of the total funds under professional management, even in the USA, and activist funds are only a fraction of the hedge funds holdings. But these activist hedge funds have used the language and strategy of shareholder primacy as the foundation of their investment approach.
'They have seen themselves as the "shock troops" of shareholder primacy, and they have attempted to change corporate culture in Japan in order to make a profit from their investments. What emerged from this clash of cultures has lessons for all of those interested in corporate governance to learn.
'Our book is timely now and topical because the Japanese experience demonstrates clearly that there are limits to shareholder primacy as the driver of corporate governance ideas and practices. In the wake of the global financial crisis and the renewed scrutiny of the "deal decades" that led to it, the corporate values of Japanese firms which focus on the "sustainability" of the business have resonance for the rest of us including investors and managers in the Anglo-Saxon world.'
CONTACT: email@example.com, tel. + 44 1223 765339.
BOOK LAUNCH: The book is launched on 5th July. Further details available here.
by Simon Deakin
Open Innovation Conference -
New Insights and Evidence
25-26 June 2012
The UK~IRC hosted this Conference at Imperial College London, leading to a special issue of Research Policy. This two day conference celebrated the 10th anniversary of Henry Chesbrough?s Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology.
Bridging the "Valley of Death": Improving the Commercialisation of Research
The House of Commons Select Committee agreed on 14 December 2011 to launch a new inquiry: Bridging the "Valley of Death": Improving the Commercialisation of Research.
The Committee invited written submissions on the terms of reference by February 2012. The Centre for Business Research and UK~IRC submitted evidence and so did CBR's Senior Research Fellow David Connell. Please click on the links below to view their submissions
Oral Evidence in April included David Connell, Co-founder, TTP Ventures, and Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Business Research/UK Innovation Research Centre, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and Matthew Bullock, Chairman, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, and Chairman, UK Innovation Research Centre, University of Cambridge and Imperial College. Please click on the links below to view the uncorrected transcripts of the oral evidence and the videos.
Further Oral Evidence in June.
28 May 2012
THE BRITISH ECONOMY: WHERE TO NOW?
Is this British economy in danger of slipping into a permanent state of stagnation because of failing private sector confidence and weak demand, or is it, as many policy makers believe, constrained by deep-seated structural defects? Despite the weakness of the economy, the Office for Budget Responsibility reckons that national output was only 2½% below the economy's potential at the end of last year. A new research report published today challenges the view of supply-side pessimists like the OBR and argues that the economy is suffering from a self-perpetuating effective demand failure.
The report "Is the British Economy supply constrained II? A renewed critique of productivity pessimism" by authors Bill Martin and Bob Rowthorn follows two previous reports by Bill Martin, in April 2010 and July 2011. The new report brings fresh evidence to bear on the reasons why Britain's labour productivity has fallen short and whether the economy's capacity has been left severely impaired by the banking crisis.
The authors strongly challenge consensus estimates of the size of the economy's spare capacity; the OBR's estimate of the cyclical component of the budget deficit, and more generally the belief of supply pessimists that capacity constraints could derail anything more than a modest revival of demand.
Commenting on the research Professor Alan Hughes, Director of the Centre for Business Research at Cambridge and of the UK~IRC, says "This report shows on the basis of a rigorous and detailed analysis that there is significant scope on the supply side to permit a substantial boost to demand in the UK economy. It is therefore both timely and important in informing the current policy debate and shifting the focus away from austerity and back towards growth."
NOTES TO EDITORS
About the Authors
Bill Martin is a Senior Research Associate of the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge. He was a Specialist Adviser in the UK Cabinet Office Central Policy Review Staff (1981-1983) and a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee (1986-1997). Between 1983 and 2004, he held senior roles, including that of chief economist, at the investment banking and fund management arms of the Swiss bank UBS.
Robert Rowthorn is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He is the author a number of academic articles on economic growth, structural change and the balance of payments. His books include, De-industrialisation and Foreign Trade (with John Wells). He has been a consultant to a variety of bodies including the International Monetary Fund, the UN Commission on Trade and Development, and the International Labour Organisation.
About the CBR
The Centre for Business Research (CBR) is an independent research institution within the University of Cambridge. The CBR conducts interdisciplinary research on enterprise, innovation and governance in contemporary market economies. Established in 1994, it is now one of the leading centres for social science research on economics, law and business in the UK, and has a growing European and global reputation. The Centre's current areas of specialisation include the construction and analysis of large and complex datasets on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovation, longitudinal analysis of regulatory change affecting business firms, and fieldwork based studies of corporate governance and organisational practice. The Centre has made a significant contribution to the development of research methods and theory in the analysis of law and finance. The Centre's research is disseminated to and used by managers, policy-makers and regulators in numerous countries.
The CBR is a multi-disciplinary centre. Our research is uniquely well informed as it draws on expertise in Cambridge University departments ranging from the Faculties of Economics and Politics, Law, and Social and Political Sciences, the Departments of Geography and Land Economy, the Manufacturing Engineering Group within the Centre of Engineering, to the Judge Business School. The research of the CBR has had a substantial policy and practitioners' impact (see for example ESRC's Impact Case Study News).
About the UK~IRC
The UK Innovation Research Centre (UK~IRC) is a collaborative initiative for cutting-edge research and knowledge hub activity in innovation. It is a joint venture between the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, and Imperial College London Business School. The Centre is co-funded by the Department for Innovation Universities and Skills (DIUS), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
For a printed copy of the report please contact:
Philippa Millerchip on:
T: 01223 760393
Or download a copy from here:
Is the British economy supply constrained II?
A renewed critique of productivity pessimism
See also Bill Martin's earlier studies Is the British economy supply constrained? A critique of productivity pessimism and Rebalancing the British economy: a strategic assessment
Cambridge Journal of Economics - Special Issue
Following a workshop that was co-organised by the UK-Innovation Research Centre (UK-IRC) and the Cambridge Journal of Economics (CJE) on 'Universities and the Knowledge Economy' a Special Issue of the journal is published.
The scholars' papers reflect on the challenges facing universities and the implications for future developments and public policy. The full special issue of the journal is available at:
CIHE-UK~IRC Task Force maps the UK's R&D landscape
Report identifies five critical findings for UK plc
21 February 2012
The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) and the UK Innovation Research Centre (UK~IRC) Enhancing Value Task Force have published a groundbreaking report identifying five critical findings after mapping the R&D landscape of the UK. The report, The UK R&D Landscape, is the first in a series which aims to identify and address the key issues in enhancing the innovation and the productivity impact of UK R&D.
Further details here ...
FINNOV Final Conference
Financing Innovation and Growth: Reforming a Dysfunctional System
Date: 1 and 2 February 2012
Venue: House of Commons (Day 1) and Italian Cultural Institute (Day 2), London
The final conference of the FP7 FINNOV project (Finance, Innovation & Growth, www.finnov-fp7.eu), focused on the need for finance to be reformed so that it serves innovation and value creation - rather than innovation serving finance and too much value destruction. Our motto is: finance for creative destruction not destructive creation. Further details here.