Collaborating with the government

Applied Institute for Research in Economics

Helen Greaves is the Divisional Assistant for the Economics Division. David Spencer is a Professor of Economics and Political Economy and Head of the Economics Division.

Aerial photograph of the houses of Parliament.

On Tuesday 20 March, Leeds University Business School was delighted to welcome members of the Cabinet Office’s Open Innovation Team.

The Open Innovation Team is a unit dedicated to deepening collaboration between officials and academics. The team was established in 2016 to work across government – collaborating with academics and experts, to help government departments produce analysis and ideas for key projects.

Chris Webber, Stu Barkley, Sarah Oufan and Sarah Sheehy from the Open Innovation Team met with a number of academics here from the EconomicsWork and Employment Relations and Management Divisions, before an afternoon meeting with researchers from the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA).

Prior to their visit, the Open Innovation Team suggested a number of academics they wished to meet, in order to gain insight into their work through short talks and discussions. The visit was an introductory, informal visit, with academics presenting their research specialisms to the Open Innovation Team, before roundtable discussions. The aim was to find out about the sort of research Leeds University Business School conducts to see if there were opportunities to collaborate.

The discussion covered a wide set of issues relating to ongoing Business School research and across the wider University. The opening sessions included discussions on the future of work, infrastructure provision and financing, regional growth and regeneration. The afternoon discussions focussed on technology, innovation and information management.

Members of LIDA discussed their research on the uses and application of different data sources.

The Cabinet Office said that they found hearing about our research activities to be interesting, particularly in the areas of emerging digital technologies.


The event was fruitful in establishing areas of mutual interest. There were clear overlaps in research interests and priorities. We look forward to similar meetings in the future.

Professor David Spencer


The Open Innovation Team was welcomed by Executive Dean Professor Peter Moizer and a number of academics including:  

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