The ESRC and TSB have now released a full briefing document for ‘Supporting Innovation in the UK Retail Sector’, the new targeted call for KTP proposals aiming to “help retail managers address the major economic, social and environmental challenges that they face, leading to new opportunities and tangible outcomes for business”. The document can be downloaded at: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/ktp/supporting-innovation-in-the-uk-retail-sector.ashx
The specific aims of this call are to:
o increase knowledge exchange between retailers and economic / social scientists*
o develop a greater understanding of the changing nature of the UK High Street and retail spaces to drive growth, innovation and efficiency within the sector
o stimulate and support innovations in e-commerce, m-commerce and omni-commerce, to maintain and strengthen the UK’s position as a global leader in internet retailing
o promote and enable innovations in the use of ‘big data,’ providing insights into consumer behaviour, increasing efficiency and growth within the retail sector
o support other innovative projects, addressing one or more sectoral challenges
*It’s well worth academics working outside of these disciplines submitting expressions of interest, though. As the briefing makes clear (p.4) – if the ESRC doesn’t fund them, another KTP funder might (and see also the last of the five aims, above – “other innovative projects” will be funded). Interdisciplinary and cross-faculty approaches can also be considered.
Partners should be businesses in the retail sector that:
- need further support to understand and respond to the challenges facing the sector;
- are looking to access social and economic science skills and knowledge (see above) to help them innovate in dealing with these challenges;
- want to build and improve their capability in innovation.
The application process is essentially the same as that for a ‘normal’ KTP and the deadline for submission is 21st August, 2013. Please contact Dominic Collins (01785 353404 / firstname.lastname@example.org )if you’re interested.