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Transformative Innovation - SD0337

The aim of this paper is to set out terms of reference for an independent, accessibly-written Report on
transformative innovation, produced by members of SPRU, The main aim of the Report will be to
inform key elements of Defra’s new Evidence Strategy document. Subsidiary goals are to: (i) develop
and test a robust and persuasive case for why Defra Evidence Strategy should include attention to
‘transformative innovation’; (ii) explore some associated practical and strategic implications for policy
making; (iii) initiate discussions and help reinforce networks to raise the profile and enhance
discussion of transformative innovation issues in DEFRA strategy; (iv) provide a resource for the
Science Directorate, to help encourage initiation of – and support for – related activities. The specific
research objectives are set out under Report Design and Content below.
The main output of the project will be the Report of six sections detailed overleaf and an executive
summary, comprising text totalling ten thousand words providing material suitable for inclusion by
Defra in the new Evidence Strategy document. An initial Kick-Off Seminar with relevant Defra staff
will help frame the detailed structure of the report. At the end, a Policy Workshop will include key
individuals drawn from both inside and outside DEFRA, to discuss findings and implications of the
project, including implications for institutional change. These events will be integrated into the
mainstream calendar of Defra seminars and workshops.
The report will be written in an accessible but authoritative style, with a problem-oriented, policyrelevant
focus. Technical terms will be kept to a minimum and explained. The outputs will be designed
to inform policy debates, rather than academic publications (as is standard practice in SPRU ‘thirdstream’
work). Practical examples will be used throughout the report, both within the main body text
to illustrate specific points, and in the form of case boxes to illustrate transformative innovation in
areas within Defra’s policy remit. This could include food, climate adaptation, waste, sustainable
consumption and production, and others. Final selection of cases will be informed by discussions and
interviews with Defra staff. As a model, the result will be similar to a NESTA report. As a publicly
funded, independent, non-commercial academic institution, SPRU agrees transfer of copyright on
condition that the Report be published and placed in the public domain, or that SPRU itself may do so.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Report to Defra on transformative innovation   (716k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2009

Cost: £38,200
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Science & Technology Policy Research
Science Policy