Scoping a regional innovation system for Bath Spa University
Bath Spa University seeks to be a leading university in creativity, culture and enterprise; they transform students’ lives through inspirational teaching and research. The university specialises in art and design, education and liberal arts and is currently growing its focus on enterprise.
With the changes to the university admissions system in the UK meaning greater competition Bath Spa University was looking to expand their programme of alternative income generation by encouraging the creation and commercialisation of university owned IP. The university was also keen to cement its place as a leading player in the regional innovation ecosystem to improve its reputation with both students and business.
How we helped
We helped Bath Spa university to understand the regional innovation system through a programme of primary and secondary research.
We used design led thinking in order to evaluate the university’s current innovation strategy and opportunities within the local and regional enterprise ecosystem.
We implemented a primary research strategy to investigate how innovation and enterprise were viewed internally by university staff. We conducted a series of workshops and interviews with senior staff across each of the university schools to understand their opinions and knowledge across four key areas:
- Knowledge of the commercial landscape within their area of expertise
- Knowledge of implementing innovation and innovation techniques
- Challenges faced in implementing the current enterprise strategy
- Opportunities identified which are not currently taken advantage of
As well as this primary research we also reviewed the university’s current and past partnerships with commercial partners and the outcomes of these partnerships. From this we were able to identify possibly opportunities for further collaboration as well as identify ways in which these partnerships could be made more beneficial for the university.
Using this research, we created an open innovation strategy which laid out areas for enhancement and suggestions for new programmes.
In depth interviews conducted
Areas for improvement identified
Work streams for improvement implemented
The innovation and enterprise strategy created identified seven key issues which needed to be resolved in order for the university to maximise income generation from innovation activity. These ranged from ensuring an understanding of innovation across all levels through to supporting the product launch of ideas.
The strategy laid out a framework of five work streams which could be implemented in order to address these issues. These work streams would revitalise the way the university approached innovation from internal processes such as the way staff are trained to recognise potential commercial ideas through to larger projects such as the creation of an incubator space to help university IP to progress from idea stage through to product launch and commercialisation.
Tenshi continues to work with Bath Spa University in implementing this strategy and are currently driving forward an additional research project to benchmark the university against competitors and provide tools for evaluation and continued improvement of their innovation strategy.