A unique aspect of our approach to innovation and enterprise is our collaboration with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise (C-TIE) at Leeds University Business School.
Researchers from C-TIE bring their knowledge and expertise in innovation practice to improve our outcomes, working with our Technology Innovation Managers to shape innovation processes and evaluate performance.
C-TIE researchers study innovation management throughout the Medical Technologies IKC, both at the level of overall programme management and within individual technology projects, investigating and evaluating the complex innovation processes that surround the commercialisation of medical technologies.
By embedding C-TIE researchers within project teams and creating a formal Innovation and Impact Group (IIG) within the Medical Technologies IKC, we have enabled findings from C-TIE to be fed into the IKC’s Executive Management Group and into our day to day activity.
Rather than produce simple recommendations in the manner of conventional management consultancy, C-TIE researchers and project teams share their findings and insights and engage in discussion to foster a continuous critical awareness of the challenges of innovation management within the Medical Technologies IKC.
The work with C-TIE has led to the development of training modules and courses on innovation and to a toolkit to help encourage innovation within small and medium sized enterprises in the region.
CDT INNOVATION MODULE
Our three-week innovation placement as part of the Leeds Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine encourages students to start thinking about the possible clinical and commercial aspects of their research.
The Leeds CDT is one of 70 UK centres funded by EPSRC to equip postgraduates with the skills needed to address healthcare challenges that will increasingly become major global issues. Innovation training is considered an important aspect of the students’ development and our Innovation Module has already helped nearly 30 students gain a better understanding of the commercialisation process.
Within the placement, students understand the creation of value through innovation from a consumer’s point of view, meeting with clinicians and clinical commissioners to consider their appreciation of value. Students also meet with experts from industry to find out about innovation practice and understand how companies innovate, manage their IP and navigate the medical technology regulatory system.
Finally, students work in project teams to tackle a specific clinical challenge. At the end of the placement they present their solutions and are evaluated on their innovation concepts. Online forums supporting the course allow students to engage with each other and with course tutors to raise any queries or issues or to explore some of the subjects in depth.
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN INNOVATION MANAGEMENT
Our Post Graduate Certificate in Innovation Management aims to equip post graduate researchers to steer their research innovations towards a commercial outcome.
Developed with Leeds University Business School (LUBS), the course uses an ‘action learning’ approach based around researchers’ existing projects and industrial colleagues, as well as university professionals who contribute their perspectives and experience. The course brings in guest speakers covering a range of key players in the innovation and commercialisation process, including industry partners as well as scientists, engineers, clinicians, regulatory bodies, IP services and funding groups. Students also work on their own innovation projects, giving them the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice.
Now in its third year, the programme has already provided over 30 students with knowledge of the market they are targeting and the ability to look at their research from the perspective of a potential end user.
SME INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT
Our work with Leeds University Business School (LUBS) has led to the creation of a toolkit of innovation expertise, now being applied to regional SMEs within the healthcare sector to help them better understand the challenges they face in managing innovation.
The toolkit is based on research carried out within the Medical Technologies IKC by academics from the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise in LUBS. The research looked at large-scale programme management and emerging networks, to develop an understanding of how the newly created Medical Technologies IKC developed, connected and shared knowledge.
The research provided revealing insights into the management of emerging technologies, such as how the acceleration of innovation outcomes could be achieved; how an organisational capability in technology innovation could be created; and how new innovation opportunities can be articulated.
Ten SMEs have received support on innovation management and expertise.
I now have a broader set of skills and knowledge and a strong research project portfolio that is useful for more industry-based research.
Matt Tomlinson, Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation Management