ESRC Festival of Social Science,
Entrepreneurial Networks: impact and business growth
12 March 2010, Lancaster University Management School
The IEED was a participating centre in the recent Festival of Social Science. This was highly successful and involved presentations from Sarah Jack, Mary Rose, Ian Gordon, Danny Soetanto and Lorenz Herfurth (from Imagination at Lancaster)
The aim of the event was to bring together academics, knowledge transfer professionals, the business community, policy makers and business support professionals to reflect, discuss and learn from practice, research and thinking in the area of entrepreneurial networks. In total, 25 delegates attended. The day started with Professor Sarah Jack providing an introduction to networks and entrepreneurship and an overview of some of the work which is taking place within the IEED around this subject. This was followed by Ian Gordon, the IEEDs Entrepreneur in Residence, who gave a businessman’s perspective of the importance of networks, how networks have impacted on his entrepreneurial journey and how he has benefitted from networks. Thereafter, Dr Danny Soetanto (IEED) and Lorenz Herfurth (Imagination) provided a real illustration of how academic work on networks can be brought to life and transformed into a useful tool and exercise for entrepreneurs. In their presentation they described how network research had been used to develop interactive knowledge exchange mechanisms which had greatly benefitted hi tech SMEs at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus. This drew on work Danny has been developing. To conclude the session Professor Mary Rose provided a historical perspective on networks and considered the importance of social media to businesses in the future. The event came together in an excellent networking lunch which allowed academics, knowledge transfer professionals, the business community, policy makers and business support professionals to share knowledge and ideas in a relaxed environment.
Here are the presentations of that day:
AIM International Visiting Fellow.
Linked to our ongoing ESRC Knowledge Exchange Project, Sarah Jack and Mary Rose secured funding for Dr. Mark Freel, of Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa to visit IEED from 23 August to 5 September 2010.
The following is an overview of Mark's proposed contribution during his stay :
- Masterclass linking ESRC Knowledge Exchange with the ERDF-funded Innovation for Growth programme, delivered to a mixed audience of internal and external academics, policymakers and business owner/managers (up to 150 participants).
- Internal seminar on innovation and networks to be presented to researchers and the knowledge exchange team based within the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development and Lancaster University Management School.
- Seminar/workshop on SME Innovation to be hosted in collaboration with Professor Jeremy Howells, Manchester University Business School.
- Reinforcement of existing collaboration between Professor Sarah Jack and Dr Mark Freel building of new collaborative links.
- Discussion of collaborative research opportunities linked to IFG.
Impact study on Outdoor Industries
The IEED has been commissioned by European Outdoor Group (EOG) to conduct a market survey into the size of the UK outdoors sector. Magnus George is leading this.
Innov_ex developed from Mike Parsons' and Mary Rose's research around innovation in outdoor clothing and equipment. It meets the criteria for Impact in the REF as it developed from a research publication - Invisible on Everest : Innovation and the Gear Makers (2003) which won the Design History Society Scholarship Prize in 2005 and resulted in a Heritage Lottery Bid on behalf on Mountain Heritage Trust. In its 8th year and currently sponsored by the Outdoor Industries Association, Innov_ex is seen by the outdoor industries as important for networking, for building collaboration and for developing understanding of themes vital to the future of the sector.
Our conference is leading to a 'virtual' learning journey as we continued experimenting with web-streaming and video conferencing. Our speakers from Canada and Japan were able to join us with a far smaller carbon footprint than had they travelled. The video conferencing software had another role this year - it gave us a fall-back plan had any of our speakers been stranded abroad by the volcanic ash cloud.
The use of web-streaming gave flexibility to virtual delegates, who commented via Twitter and responded to a Live Blog being kept on the day by Peter MacFarlane, on of our Innovation Design Prize judges andhas another twist in that it actually reduced travel miles by web conferencing in speakers from Canada and Tokyo and the same systems were ready on stand by in case others who were attending were caught overseas in an ash cloud.
Innov_ex 2010 attracted 89 delegates primarily from outdoor manufacturers, designers and retailers. This year we were visited by 15 European journalists from the national media of Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and Spain, at the initiative of Messe Friedrichshafen- there intention was to raise the profile of the outdoor industries across Europe. Innov_Ex was identified as an important destination during a trip to the UK, indeed the UK trip was timed to coincide with Innov_ex 2010.
Click here to look at the short film made focusing on the Innov_ex Design Prize
Click here for the essence of Innov_ex 2009