LUMS academic presents research at SBC Open Innovation Summit 2016

29 April 2016

Chris Ford, from LUMS’s Department of Accounting and Finance, was invited to present his ground-breaking work on performance management in open innovation ecosystems at one of the biggest events in the bioscience calendar.  

The Open Innovation Summit is jointly hosted by pharmaceutical giant GSK and Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) - a pioneering bioscience incubator at the heart of an expanding science park.

The research, which has been ongoing since 2011, builds on the internationally recognised work of Distinguished Professor David Otley, also of LUMS, who supervised Chris during his PhD here.  The latest work aims to bring forward theories of performance management (which are rooted in single, stable firms) and extend them into multi-organisational systems with limited formal control mechanisms.  The ideas draw on all forms of social, cultural, architectural and financial ‘control’ systems to develop a holistic understanding of what makes a scientific community thrive and grow.

“There was never a plan to present at this event, my focus was on delivering useful ideas and insights to the CEO and board of SBC,” said Chris.

“However, after an extended feedback session and some further work they wanted this to go wider, to highlight an alternative vision of who they are, what they do, and what drives their success.  So they asked me to present at the summit.”  

The 200-strong audience included global heads from GSK, senior government figures and representatives of major pharmaceutical firms, biotechs, and national science hubs.  Following the presentation a number of leading industry figures from across the UK have been in contact with Chris and his co-researchers, Katy Mason (Marketing) and Martin Friesl (Enterprise, Strategy and Innovation), to see how they can draw on these ideas further.

Chris said: “There is still more work to do, but it’s great to see that ideas conceptualised from one major incubator and formative ecosystem seem to have resonance with others.  If we can extend our view, and knowledge base, we can shape both the industrial and governmental understanding of what it is to build and expand successful scientific ecosystems.” 

To find out more about the ongoing work, email