Knowledge transfer between Food Research Institute and industry in the UK: the role of open innovation and social capital

Karla Zimpel-Leal, Fiona Lettice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This paper is part of a wider research project that seeks a conceptualised explanation to how and why knowledge is transferred between food research institutes and industry in the UK, by identifying the mechanisms that drive this process. It presents the findings from 13 in-depth interviews which formed the pilot study conducted through a qualitative approach involving a leading food research institute and main food retailers. An analysis of the Open Innovation and Social Capital literatures lead to the conclusion that these are plausible angles to start the study. Participation in formal and informal networks and the importance of social structures play a significant role in this context as well as different open and collaborative activities. The emergent findings suggests that innovation challenges facing this sector are around sustainability issues such as waste, climate change and food safety. Knowledge transfer between food research institute and industry occurs through open innovation activities, the main motivations being internal learning and access to funding through engagement with industry. Similarly there are many opportunities for intermediaries in the commercialisation of ideas. Moreover, the individual level of social capital provides the network structure and expertise access to engage in collaborative projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Event22nd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 14 Jun 201516 Jun 2015


Conference22nd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference


  • research institute
  • knowledge transfer
  • open innovation
  • strong and weak ties

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