In January 2007 the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council made additional payments totalling £1.4m to 29 research organisations to support the development of enterprise skills for researchers. A workshop was convened to bring together representatives from those institutions in receipt of the additional funding and to explore existing and future enterprise skills development provision to maximise the impact of this funding to the sector.
Intrapreneurship within the research environment was identified as a relatively unexplored area that had the potential to take forward the sector understanding of the impact of enterprise at work.
Intrapreneurship requires a similar set of skills, traits and capabilities to entrepreneurship, but takes place within the context of an organisation. Intrapreneurs take hands-on responsibility for creating innovation of any kind within an organisation. They transform an idea into something which adds value for the organisation; this could be a 'product' or a change to a process.
In 2007, a collaborative project between Vitae, CRAC: The Career Development Organisation and nine higher education institutions investigated intrapreneurship within a changing political landscape, the potential links it had with institutional drivers, and what current and future practice might look like in terms of activities and culture that would support intrapreneurial behaviours.
This collaboration ran throughout the following year leading to the publication of the report: Enterprise at work - exploring intrapreneurship in researcher development.
A new project team are currently taking forward a second phase of the collaborative intrapreneurship activity, focussed on developing practice through building a knowledge base of the intrapreneurial attributes that make an effective researcher and creating resources to develop intrapreneurial capabilities.
The dissemination of the project outcomes will be through practice sharing events and the production of a summary publication.
If you would be interested in finding out more about this project then please contact Jonathan Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org