The OUI Innovation Champions programme
The team here at OUI announced the launch across the University of an Innovation Champions trial scheme in 2018. The programme started as a pilot, and we aim to expand the number and reach of the Champions, including to more departments. We anticipate working with divisional and departmental colleagues to determine how best the scheme could support their specific activities and needs. Initially focused on OUI-related activities, we hope it may provide an opportunity to raise awareness of other parts of the University’s innovation ecosystem, and contribute to the further development of a culture of innovation.
A full list of OUI Innovation Champions can be found below.
We also regularly have OUI staff available in some university departments at hot desks where researchers can “drop in” for a chat and have their questions about innovation and enterprise answered. Find out more here.
The role of OUI Innovation Champions
Innovation Champions will help improve the landscape for innovation and entrepreneurial activities in their departments. It is expected that their precise role will vary between divisions and potentially departments, depending on the types of activities most likely to arise from each. While some inherent flexibility is therefore necessary, the following core components will be common to all:
- Innovation Champions all have first hand experience of OUI services and act as a first point of contact for colleagues interested in commercialising their ideas or expertise, or developing links with industry, whether through consulting or research collaboration.
- They provide initial advice and mentoring to their colleagues (of all levels of seniority, including students) and are responsible for ensuring their colleagues understand who to contact in OUI when they have an enquiry.
- They are a valuable interface between the departmental staff and colleagues in OUI.
- They are recognised as having a distinct and valued role in inculcating a vibrant entrepreneurial and innovative culture in their department.
The Innovation Champions are invited to termly meetings to share experiences, best practice and learn more about the various routes to creation of impact from research through commercialisation or social enterprise. They will also be invited to various other events and seminars through the year where they will meet colleagues connected to the innovation ecosystem in diverse ways, and the champions themselves will also form a valuable support network for each other.
If your department does not currently have an OUI Innovation Champion and you would be interested in appointing one, please contact Dr Fiona Story at OUI to discuss further.