Innovation

We describe innovation as the successful exchange and application of ideas with non-academic partners and stakeholders.

This includes working with Designers, Government, Social Enterprises, Companies, Artists, Individuals, Charities, Schools and many others. Through these interactions we promote new ways of thinking and acting.

Innovation is a mutually supporting companion to our academic research and it is often the case that research and innovation activities are embodied in the same project. We interact with non-academic stakeholders through a very wide range of activities, from a major international ideas festival in Manchester (FutureEverything) to exhibitions, workshops, ImaginationLabs and toolkits.

Many of these are described within the entries below. We also have a strong tradition of PhD projects that involve active participation in the non-academic world with students working in companies as part of their projects. HighWire, the cross disciplinary PhD training centre, is predicated on working with external partners in the digital economy.

Much of this activity is supported by funded projects from research councils (e.g. the AHRCs support of The Experience Exchange knowledge exchange hub), to central government (through our HEIF Higher Education Innovation Fund projects), to the European Union (through ERDF and INTERREG funding). In total we have received over £12 million of funding for innovation. This is complemented by a range of more informal, interest-led and speculative projects with companies, social groups and individuals. 

Current Innovation Activities

Creative ExchangeCreative Exchange Creative Exchange Creating New Contexts for Growth in the Experience Economy
Design For EuropeDesign For Europe Design For Europe Design For Europe aims to increase the use of design for innovation and growth across Europe.
Design RoutesDesign Routes Design Routes Envisioning the future of culturally significant designs, products and practices
Design Value: The Role of Design in InnovationDesign Value: The Role of Design in Innovation Design Value: The Role of Design in Innovation Exploring the roles design can play in innovation and the conditions enabling those roles
Dust BunniesDust Bunnies Dust Bunnies Scoping global challenge research in understanding real world interactions (of dust-born infections) in ...
G Up: Ghanaian specific design and innovation modelsG Up: Ghanaian specific design and innovation models G Up: Ghanaian specific design and innovation models Working with manufacturing and high-tech company partners to co-design new, locally tailored innovation, ...
Lancaster China Catalyst ProgrammeLancaster China Catalyst Programme Lancaster China Catalyst Programme Lancaster University is embarking on a new initiative to leverage its global reach for the benefit of UK ...
Leapfrog: transforming public sector engagement by designLeapfrog: transforming public sector engagement by design Leapfrog: transforming public sector engagement by design The Leapfrog project will be a close collaboration with public sector and community partners to design and ...
Mobile UtopiaMobile Utopia Mobile Utopia Co-creation research project to creatively analyse and explore alternative futures.
ReWiiReReWiiRe ReWiiRe Research for Wii Rehabilitation
What if? Design Fictions for SocietyWhat if? Design Fictions for Society What if? Design Fictions for Society Imagining the future implications of policy initiatives in creative ways.

Past Innovation Activities

Active ParksActive Parks Active Parks Co-designing a Health trail in Ryelands Park
A Designerly Approach to Re-imagining Design Procurement A Designerly Approach to Re-imagining Design Procurement A Designerly Approach to Re-imagining Design Procurement How can designerly approaches develop innovative ways of engendering empathy between commissioning and ...
Ageing PlayfullyAgeing Playfully Ageing Playfully Co-designing interactive and playful ways to encourage dementia-friendly exercise and movement.
BARTERBARTER BARTER moBile sociAl netwoRking supporTing local Ethical tRading
Behaviours that StickBehaviours that Stick Behaviours that Stick Exploring emotional design of sustainable behaviours that stick
Beyond the CastleBeyond the Castle Beyond the Castle Write a new chapter in the history of Lancaster's green space
BridgeBridge Bridge Bridging resources and agencies in large-scale emergency management
Co-Design FaceMoocCo-Design FaceMooc Co-Design FaceMooc A 5 week online course for design professionals interested in co-design.
Creative IDEASCreative IDEAS Creative IDEAS Innovative Mechanisms for Knowledge Sharing
Data ArtsData Arts Data Arts An investigation into emerging approaches to visualising, interpreting and using data.
DeEP: Design in European PolicyDeEP: Design in European Policy DeEP: Design in European Policy Evaluating and Sharing Design Innovation Policies for European Growth
Environment 2.0Environment 2.0 Environment 2.0 Investigating new forms of social sensing and participatory observation of local environment and climate.
Free All Monsters!Free All Monsters! Free All Monsters! Location based iPhone game exploring user generated content
HighWireHighWire HighWire Creating Innovative People for Radical Change
IDEAS at DaresburyIDEAS at Daresbury IDEAS at Daresbury Collaboration for Innovation in Knowledge Exchange
IDEAS for ImpactIDEAS for Impact IDEAS for Impact A project to help Lancaster University academics undertake high impact, excellent research.
Include Me Include Me Include Me Co-designing 'phygital' interactions for the social inclusion of children with autism
Innovation Theory/PracticeInnovation Theory/Practice Innovation Theory/Practice Understanding through challenging: Innovation and Design
Innovation through Improved Service & DesignInnovation through Improved Service & Design Innovation through Improved Service & Design A series of 3 workshops aiming at introducing Design to manufacturing SMEs with a particular focus on the ...
Knowledge Exchange Tools DesignKnowledge Exchange Tools Design Knowledge Exchange Tools Design PROUD are designing tools for creative public consultation in a collaboration with Lancaster City Council ...
London Creative and Digital FusionLondon Creative and Digital Fusion London Creative and Digital Fusion Ambitious £5m project to inspire and support growth in the digital industries
N8: New Thinking from the NorthN8: New Thinking from the North N8: New Thinking from the North Stimulating reinvention and influencing economic growth across the North
New IDEASNew IDEAS New IDEAS The aim of New IDEAS is to develop, refine and disseminate highly innovative knowledge exchange approaches ...
Next Generation Sustainability in Civil EngineeringNext Generation Sustainability in Civil Engineering Next Generation Sustainability in Civil Engineering Helping industry, educators and policy makers think about sustainable futures
Numbers that MatterNumbers that Matter Numbers that Matter Exploring wellbeing and people’s understanding of data by co-designing a wearable open-data device
OpTexOpTex OpTex Open innovation for textile-like materials made on a paper machine.
PAC-LANPAC-LAN PAC-LAN Worlds First NFC Mixed Reality Game
ProtoPolicyProtoPolicy ProtoPolicy Using design fiction to help politicians and community groups imagine the future implications of policy ...
PROUDPROUD PROUD Working with designers, businesses, academics and the public to promote innovation through new types of ...
ServDes 2014ServDes 2014 ServDes 2014 Service Design and Innovation Conference at Lancaster University
Service Design for InnovationService Design for Innovation Service Design for Innovation Service Design for Innovation (SDIN) is a European Training Network for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs)
Taking the Artwork HomeTaking the Artwork Home Taking the Artwork Home Digital Curation Through Mobile Augmented Reality
The Knowledge Exchange: An Interactive ConferenceThe Knowledge Exchange: An Interactive Conference The Knowledge Exchange: An Interactive Conference An interactive conference, which took place on the 26th and 27th of September 2013 that explored academic ...
The PLACE LabThe PLACE Lab The PLACE Lab Places and Spaces
Working With GroupsWorking With Groups Working With Groups The PROUD project are running series of events throughout 2014 designed to share experience and effective ...

Latest Updates

Mobile Utopia at Somerset House

Event9 months and 1 day ago
Mobile Utopia at Somerset House

24th of June 2016, Somerset House, London

Visual manifesto to be presented at the Utopia Fair.

Mobile Utopia will present their visual manifesto for the future, developed through collaboration with the artist Oliver East and co-created with members of the public, at the...Read full update

Creative Process Workshop

Creative Process Workshop

Sarah Campbell from the V&A Museum joins the Leapfrog team to develop tools to help understand the creative process.

I first met the Imagination Lancaster team at a conference in Essen, Germany, a couple of years ago. I recognised them immediately as both good thinkers and good fun and have...Read full update

Mobile Utopia - Call for Artwork

Event11 months and 6 days ago

19th of April 2016

This is an open call for proposals from artists on the theme of Mobile Utopia 1851-2051.

Mobile Utopia 1851-205􀏱1 seeks to develop a deeper understanding of mobile utopias (and dystopias), and to creatively analyse and explore these. Critically, ‘mobile...Read full update

Leapfrog Young Designers Celebration Event

Leapfrog Young Designers Celebration Event

Since October last year, Leapfrog has been working with a group of young people to co-design tools to make sure adults in authority hear their voices.

We produced a newspaper called The Inspirer containing the tools the young people both designed and named.  The young people edited...Read full update

Workshop on designing preferable futures for a dementia-friendly society

Event11 months and 4 days ago
Workshop on designing preferable futures for a dementia-friendly society

21st of April 2016, Imagination Lab, The LICA Building, Lancaster University

Are you over 60? Then we need your experience and ideas designing futures for a dementia-friendly society

We are recruiting creative people over 60 years of age to spend time with researchers from...Read full update