Innovation Co-Lab

The Innovation Co-Laboratory (Innovation Co-Lab) is a strategic partnership among Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), the University of Manchester (UNIMAN), and Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). The respective key units are GT’s School of Public Policy and Enterprise Innovation Institute through the Program in Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP); UNIMAN’s Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIoIR); and BIT’s School of Management and Economics. The Innovation Co-Lab engages researchers in mutually agreed research projects, exchange, training, and other related activities in the domain of science, technology, and innovation management and policy.

The key objectives of this strategic partnership are:

(1)To serve as an infrastructure for collaboration across the three institutions capable of facilitating research in science, technology and innovation analysis using large-scale databases and joint collaborative teams. We use available systems and freeware in this collaborative framework, which involves shareable datamining capabilities and datasets, methodologies, and communication linkages.

(2)To extend and leverage research and research training capabilities, allowing (a) data-intensive international research projects in science, technology and innovation analysis to be undertaken more rapidly and effectively; and (b) providing new opportunities for research training of junior researchers and doctoral students. Our research focus is on targets of strategic interest to China, the US, and the UK.

(3)To collaborate in a way that is sustainable and scalable, and which can serve as a model for other China-US-UK strategic collaborations, engaging additional partners such as private sector affiliates.

The activities of the Innovation Co-Lab involve virtual and on-site research collaboration, academic exchanges, joint student training, and dissemination. A key enabling activity is the use of architectures for virtual collaboration among the three partners. We use existing software systems (e.g., Skype, Webex, email) to bring together data, research methods, tools, documents, and people “at the point of investigation” in online environments.

Key Innovation Co-Lab activities include:

Research collaboration. Research collaboration through the Innovation Co-Lab has focused on the study of emerging technologies (e.g., green technologies, nanotechnology) using methods such as foresight, bibliometric and patent analysis, and study of corporate activity in a comparative setting.

Academic Exchanges. We hold academic exchanges that involve senior researchers and students engaging in workshops at each partner location.

Training. We hold in person student training and also plan for training modules where GT, BIT, and UNIMAN faculty use interactive video links with work collaboration software to present (in English) new research and methodologies.

Dissemination (including discussion of learning, insights, issues) of results from the Innovation Co-Lab have occurred multiple ways including conference sessions, proposals, papers, and training programs.