An ‘Open Innovation’ Campus Environment: a university changing local business culture

Lorraine Farrelly

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The University of Portsmouth sits in a small city on the south coast of England, traditionally influenced by the Royal Navy which has stimulated business growth and supported associated businesses around areas including defence, engineering, electronics and logistics. In the changing industrial culture, businesses have adapted to provide a range of service industries requiring new skill sets. The University is preparing graduates for emerging work opportunities across new technologies in engineering at all scales in creative and cultural industries, from gaming technologies to digital design and film and media. The University has been interested to respond to regional businesses to work alongside academic staff by creating a new environment for research and development within the University. The changing culture means that many of the industries established locally are adapting skills and possibilities, for example adapting from marine and aerospace design to entertainment and gaming systems design. The ‘Innovation Space’ is a new small office space right in the city centre, positioned in the heart of the city University Campus. It is a building refurbishment, designed , funded and implemented by the University , revitalising and re-characterising an outdated building . It will offer external companies associated with digital media a central city location, but also offer opportunities to work alongside academics who share research interests. There are many local businesses which are looking to locate near the University, to have benefit from the skill and knowledge base which is part of the University academic community. This creates a collaborative environment for established businesses to relocate alongside new businesses emerging from the University, particularly in the creative Industries and advanced manufacturing sectors accelerating innovation and creating employment. The ‘Innovation Space’ concept is developed from the ‘open innovation’ idea that Universities have been encouraging internationally, particularly in cities where the university has a strong relationship with industry. “Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology” or "Innovating with partners by sharing risk and sharing reward". Chesbrough, H.W. (2003). Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, p. xxi The proximity of business with academics, research staff and post graduate students creates synergies and innovation through the flow of ideas and sharing of resources. The space is organised to provide shared areas for discussion and development of ideas across businesses and University research staff, and separate , confidential areas for business product development. ‘Open Innovation’ units are being developed across creative cities internationally taking advantage of a University’s potential to stimulate a new type of commercial environment. Typically these spaces are physically distinctive, located in key areas within a city and have a high degree of flexibility providing stimulating and flexible working environments for clusters of high-tech businesses. A key aspect of this proposal is to develop an in house research and development facility provided by a University research team to support the SMEs ( small medium enterprises) with shared areas for events, discussion and innovation, thereby creating an environment that encourages innovation and experimentation. This project will opened in April 2013, it will provide a unique environment in the city, a point for business to interface with academics, where there can be mutual support for research , development and new opportunities for business development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2013
EventAssociation for Urban Creativity-New directions for research on Cities, Societies and Cultures - London
Duration: 31 May 20131 Jun 2013


ConferenceAssociation for Urban Creativity-New directions for research on Cities, Societies and Cultures


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