Cabinet Office collaboration

Officials from the Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team
(L-R) Professor Andrew Atherton, Chris Webber, Dr Giles Carden, Stuart Barclay, Julian Ashwin, Professor Stephen Decent, Sarah O'Hanlon

The University is one of four universities participating in the Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Partnership which is designed to bring civil servants together with academic experts to share ideas and develop solutions to policy challenges. The Open Innovation Partnership opens up opportunities to engage with policymakers and influencers to shape government policy and to enhance the impact of Lancaster’s research.

A number of strong, high-impact collaborations have been developed between Lancaster academics and the government as a result of Lancaster’s involvement in the partnership. Through the intermediary of the Open Innovation Team based at the Cabinet Office, academics at Lancaster have been able to forge sustained connections with the government. The Open Innovation Partnership also gives its partner institutions the opportunity to react rapidly to emerging projects and to help shape evolving policy areas.

Chris Webber, Head of the Open Innovation Team, said: "We always enjoy coming to Lancaster. It's a first-rate university with academics who are keen to collaborate and help us solve policy problems. It was especially nice to visit when students were graduating. There was a lovely atmosphere around campus."

Professor Andrew Atherton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “The Open Innovation Partnership is a genuinely exciting opportunity for universities to work more closely with parts of government around focus questions and issues, and so represents an innovative approach to academic engagement and policy development. The Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team have been great to work with and they make partnerships like this so much more productive.”

The University is entitled to a number of benefits through its involvement in the Open Innovation Partnership. The partner benefits include: academic placements and collaborations, government official visits and a yearly Policy School (which involves the Cabinet Office hosting students and staff members from Lancaster for a one-day event to form solutions to a specific policy challenge).

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