Dr Muthu de Silva secures British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

Exciting research project into knowledge co-creation between universities and businesses

Dr Muthu de Silva, KBS Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, has successfully secured a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for a new research proposal entitled ‘Knowledge co-creation between universities and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): drivers and impact’.

Co-creation is the mechanism of generating shared value through tightly-knit inter-organisational collaborations (including collaborations between businesses and universities) to address challenges that cannot be dealt with in-house. Most literature on university-business collaborations so far has focused on the unilateral transfer of knowledge from universities to large businesses, and there is limited understanding of two-way knowledge co-creation, particularly when the business partner is an SME. The research aims to fill this gap by focusing on the processes (tacit and implicit), impact (tangible and intangible) and drivers surrounding the co-creation of knowledge between universities and SMEs. This is achieved by collating 80 in-depth interviews already conducted with stakeholders of university-SME collaborations across three research programmes, and analysing them using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach. The integrated dataset is original and has inter-disciplinary focus (STEM and social sciences), which allows for exploring co-creation processes in a variety of settings.

Dr de Silva looks forward to working with colleagues from Birkbeck, University of London, University of East Anglia and University of Westminster to conduct the research.

For more information, please contact Dr de Silva directly at L.De-Silva@kent.ac.uk.


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