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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G037582/1
Title: The Digital Economy Innovation Centre
Principal Investigator: Sas, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BBC BT Clifford Chance LLP (UK)
CSMTC Limited Hewlett Packard Inc Knowledge Business Centre
Microsoft Mott Macdonald O2
Sony (UK)
Department: Computing & Communications
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 30 September 2019 Value (£): 5,973,032
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Computer Graphics & Visual. Design Engineering
Digital Art & Design Human-Computer Interactions
Information & Knowledge Mgmt Manufact. Business Strategy
Mobile Computing Networks & Distributed Systems
Product Design Software Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Creative Industries
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This document presents the case for a DTC at Lancaster University, targeting the Digital Economy priority area. Recent government thinking (as witnessed by the Sainsbury, Cox and Denham reviews) highlights the crucial role of innovation and its importance for the future health of the UK economy (including the Digital Economy). We rise to this challenge by proposing a world class, cross-disciplinary and user-centric DTC which places innovation at the heart of its curriculum and ethos. We propose to go beyond traditional multi-disciplinary approaches by seeking a creative fusion between three key disciplines, namely computer science, management and design. The emphasis is on producing a new breed of innovative people who understand and are able to advance the state of the art in technical, design and business innovation (exploring the possible, desirable and feasible). We further propose to align the Centre closely with the needs and goals of industrial producers and consumers of digital innovation (user focus) to ensure the relevance of the PhD programme and to encourage technology transfer/ early adoption of the emerging ideas and knowledge exchange. The DTC will build on the strengths of the InfoLab21 initiative, a recognised leader in technology transfer strategies, in order to seek more valuable and viable technical, social and economic pathways from the laboratory to organisational end-users and producers. The bid also builds on existing support including a Marie Curie Training Network in Creative Design/ Innovation. The long term vision of the centre is to achieve sustainability through partnerships between the university and organisational and customer end users.Key features of the bid include:- A deliberate and distinctive cross-cutting strategy of focusing on innovation as the core of the programme and rooting each PhD within thematic clusters to achieve the desired user focus;- The bringing together of three centres of excellence at Lancaster, namely the Management School, InfoLab21 and ImaginationLancaster with a focus on the resultant creative fusion;- Strong and dedicated leadership offered by 0.5 FTE Director (Prof. Gordon Blair) with significant experience of leadership and postgraduate training;- Location in a new customised space, with value added features such as the Imagination Studio, at a total cost of 10m, building on other investments in the 3 centres of excellence of 38.5m;- Programmes to engage with producers and users of digital innovations, thereby enhancing the student experience through sponsorship, industrial internships and international placements;- Significant focus on SME engagement and their business development, with associated structures and mechanisms becoming a focus for innovation in their own right;- The incorporation of a 12 month Masters of Research (MRes) featuring core modules on innovation, tailorable elements from the three centres, and also a number of ideas factories supporting a refinement from the cross-disciplinary thematic clusters and the definition of MRes and PhD projects; - A requirements-driven transferable skills programme within the 1+3 programme, targeted at industrial needs and capabilities, with the added feature of master classes from inspirational speakers including Sir Chris Bonnington;- Strong programme and quality assurance management, including an emphasis on recruitment.This is a distinctive, bold, imaginative and potentially high impact proposal which can contribute significantly to, and indeed shape, the emerging Digital Economy agenda through its focus on digital innovation. Significant additional contributions are also planned with respect to the Innovation Nation and in particular mechanisms and policies to stimulate innovative thinking in the economy and in society.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk