There is this ongoing debate around the need to be better at commercialisation of new technology from the universities in the UK. One thing that struck me this weekend when I was on a tour at Manchester University – departments of social sciences, humanities, theology and arts. We must not over look these areas as I beleive they have some real gems that have application in the outside world. There are some excellent examples of work going on in the areas of religion, social anthropology, philosophy that have a real application in the world of business and entrepreneuship – leadership, morality, ethics, reasoning, motivation, judgement, values – if they could be packaged up excellent commercial potential well and truly does exist. I recently used an innovation voucher to explore this stuff and the results where fantastic.
Commercial potential exists in areas outside of engineering and sciences but the strong argument from individuals within the university is that their purpose is to research and extend the boudaries of understanding – I can totally agree with this too!