Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship undertakes research into innovation and entrepreneurship process, from identifying pockets of original knowledge in the search for ideas, to the diffusion and entrepreneurial exploitation of new products, processes and services. The department is a core part of the Business School and is unique in Europe due to its interdisciplinary depth, funding, contacts and published research in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The department welcomes applications from students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds who strive for excellence and have a desire to influence policy and practice by working at the interface of science, engineering and business management.

Research areas

The Department has a portfolio of research projects worth over £25 million in direct financial support, in addition to a similar in-kind contribution from the business world. Many involve collaboration with interdisciplinary centres across the College, such as the Energy Business Research Laboratory. As a Doctoral student within this Department you’ll benefit from engaging with evidence-based research that offers unique insights into the latest innovation, entrepreneurship, technology management and digital approaches.

Faculty and doctoral students are engaged in a wide range of research areas including:

  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Business model innovation
  • Entrepreneurship systems
  • Inclusive innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Individual innovativeness
  • Innovation, design and services
  • Ownership, governance and entrepreneurs
  • Social networks and innovation performance
  • University-industry relations and impact

ERC research opportunity for PhD student starting in 2017

Networking for innovation: how entrepreneurs’ network behaviours help clusters to innovate

An opportunity is available for a PhD student joining our fully-funded five-year Doctoral programme in 2017 to join the Business School’s Department of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, working with work with Dr Anne ter Wal on a research programme funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The research programme is titled “Networking for innovation: how entrepreneurs’ network behaviour helps clusters to innovate.”

In the first year you will complete a Master’s in Research (MRes) with highly relevant and structured training. For the remaining four years you will design and conduct your PhD research project, as part of the wider N4I_CLUSTER research programme. Further information about this opportunity is available here.

Research centres and partnerships

The department works with global companies, SMEs, policy communities and research institutions, as well as flagship projects with Imperial’s Engineering, Natural Science and Medicine faculties. No other group in Europe has such inter-disciplinary application, actively translating its research findings through direct engagement with research and industry partners, academic publications, conferences, workshops and briefings.

At the department’s heart is the Innovation Studies Centre (ISC), covering in four themes the entire innovation process from knowledge creation to commercialisation. The ISC acts as a flywheel for a number of exciting programmes and centres, where the business world and research councils have provided financial backing to conduct research in specific areas, such as new models for technology transfer and innovation in services.

The department’s work includes a start-up company named Think Play Do Group, which is supported by Imperial Innovations, Uniquest and the University of Queensland. This allows members to commercialise and develop their ideas.

Research centres within the department include the Centre for Management Buy-Out Research, Digital City Exchange, Enterprise Research Centre, The Entrepreneurship Hub, Entrepreneurial Family Business Centre and the Gandhi Centre for Inclusive Innovation.

Read more about the department

Doctoral thesis in the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Name Thesis Title Supervisor(s)
Hsiao-Han Sophia Lu Beyond Fifteen Minutes of Fame – the impact of research resonance on the creation of academic celebrity Dr Anne ter WalDr Markus Perkmann
Cleo Silvestri Organizational identification in hybrid organizations: The role of primary and secondary organizational identities Dr Markus PerkmannDr Paola Criscuolo
Gokce Tuna Organising social innovation: enabling mechanisms and inherent paradoxes Dr Ileana StiglianiDr Anu Wadhwa
Rossella Salandra The production and dissemination of “defective” knowledge in the context of clinical research Dr Paola Criscuolo
Lien de Cuyper Doing good while making profit: a multi-level perspective on how social enterprises manage dual objectives Professor Mike Wright, Professor Bart Clarysse
Marine Mograbyan The impact of ICT usage by new venture firms on their location choice when internationalizing Professor Erkko Autio

Practical experience

Doctoral students in the department have the opportunity to teach on programmes such as MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management as well as on our MBA, which offers a unique focus on innovation through elective courses and the Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Design project.