SSHRC Insight Grant 2017 – 2022

This is a five-year grant awarded in March 2017 to fund research on ‘Digital Innovation in University Incubators and Start-Ups’. This is a collaboration between Queen’s University, Canada Professor and CDI Fellow Yolande Chan who will be working with Professor Michael Barrett of Cambridge Judge Business School and a team of researchers at both Cambridge and Queen’s.

The proposed research provides knowledge to decision makers in university ecosystems to assist them in innovating. Incubator managers and start-up founders will be equipped to develop new knowledge strategies and digital strategies. Improved innovation outcomes are expected as technology is used to identify and assist university faculty, students, and staff with novel ideas, and as scientific discoveries are more quickly translated into commercial outputs in incubators. As findings are disseminated during the five-year study, they will inform research agendas, practice, and policies, and have direct economic impacts, such as increased university startup creation, survival, and innovation. The research is expected to contribute to the evolving body of knowledge on digital innovation and benefit scholars who are developing and testing related theories. Research and policy on digital innovation and the practice of entrepreneurs, startup teams, incubator managers, and university administrators will be shaped by information disseminated via the Smith Insight portal at Queen’s University and Cambridge Digital Innovation at the University of Cambridge.

Cambridge Africa Alborada Research Fund (2016 – 2018)

This grant titled ‘Creating value from mobile platforms: from financial inclusion to clean energy in Kenya’ is a collaboration between CDI Academic Director, Professor Michael Barrett and Dr Samuel Liyala of Jaramogi, Oginga, Odinga University of Science and Technology in Kenya.

This research builds on earlier research on financial inclusion around MPESA to understand how value creation in mobile platforms can be further developed in using mobile payment platforms to provide access to clean energy. A particular interested is in how different digital platforms can work synergistically together to enable new forms of services and value.

This project seeks to make important scholarly contributions in the areas of digital innovation and development, with a focus on social inclusion. In particular, we hope to develop new insight into how local practices (re)shape innovation and offer opportunity to improve individuals’ livelihood, communities and sustainable development. We aim to develop policy level guidance on how to nurture and support digital innovation, with implications for business investment and local entrepreneurship.