Business Engagement

Business Engagement Community of Practice

Aspect is organised into cross-institutional, cross-disciplinary communities, designed to capture and share knowledge across five core areas of practice. The Business Engagement Community of Practice (CoP) seeks to generate and share good practice on social sciences business engagement and encourage industry engagement with the social sciences, and vice versa.

To find out more, or to join the Business Engagement Community of Practice, please contact Lisa Gilmore:

Who is involved?

The Business Engagement CoP is made up of volunteers drawn from the Aspect member institutions, who have some responsibility for leading or coordinating business engagement within their organisation. Current CoP members’ responsibilities, for example, include working with businesses and industry to create commercial and philanthropic partnerships, handling alumni relations and working with academics to access funding to support business development.

What do we do?

The group currently meets on a monthly basis to learn from and exchange ideas with one another and convene around Aspect funded project activities. Themes the COP is keen to explore include: engaging academics, engaging partners in different sectors, and using the right language and mechanisms to best enable this engagement with the social sciences.

The COP members take turns to host knowledge share sessions at their monthly meetings. COP members are encouraged to put forward additional ideas for speakers, case studies from your institution, or other challenges you wish to explore. An example of some proposed topics for future session are listed below.

  • Building networks around different research clusters:  Outcomes from a recent project and the insights from the process
  • Strategic Partnership Workshop: A case study/example on how to stimulate engagement between social sciences and business, and a discussion on how to apply this model with the social sciences
  • Examples of engaging partners with different social sciences disciplines: Insights on what has been effective in Human Behavior and Policy Institutes, and a discussion around other areas that have been challenging
  • Insights from the Aspect Internationalization project
  • What works for engaging third sector partners?  
  • How do different institutions manage relationships with contacts within their institutions, and how to develop a joined-up approach?

In the first phase of Aspect (2018-2021) the COP also worked together to generate and share good practice in business engagement for the social sciences via a range of projects, including: Sector Deep Dives, Challenge-led Workshops, and the Business Engagement ‘Ideas Box’. Outputs from these projects are available on the funded project page.

Resources View all

30 resources | Page 1 of 2
Net zero, small and micro businesses, step-by-step guide, net zero pathway map

28 July 2023

Engaging small and micro businesses with net zero  

Report and Step-by-Step guide that helps to understand and accelerate engagement of micro and small businesses with Net Zero.

6 June 2023

Programme to support mid-career researchers with venture engagement for professional development

This is a report about the Zinc Mid-Career Researcher Innovation Safari 2022. It explains how mid-career researchers have fewer opportunities than ECRs to explore developmental routes outside academia, which leads to limitations of opportunities for professional and personal development.

11 October 2021

Aspect Learning Gain Report 2021

Our annual summary of insights and learnings from across the Aspect programme

30 September 2021

Case study template for Comms and KE COP

Template of questions to help create case studies for comma and KE

30 September 2021

ABaCuSS Student Reflections

Six students from the Universities of Glasgow and Manchester were placed into intrapreneurship-based placements within companies for 8 weeks, to test working models of intrapreneurship. This is what they found…

30 September 2021

ABaCuSS Final Project Report: Programme Overview and Learnings

Sharing ‘good practice’ learnings from the ABaCuSS pilot programme.

20 September 2021

How is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion translated into business engagement practice?

Exploring how CoP members are addressing issues of equality, diversity and inclusion.

20 September 2021

FinTech Deep Dive Resources

Videos and a guide exploring good practice in engagement between academics, universities FinTech organisations

7 September 2021

HealthTech Deep Dive

A deep dive to explore how social sciences research can add meaningful insights to the health-tech industry.

27 August 2021

LegalTech Deep Dive Project

Exploring collaboration between universities, academincs and law firms.

25 August 2021

The Creative Industries ‘Deep Dives’  

An investigation into activities between social science academics and the creative industries in the Northwest of England to highlight a plethora of activity in this area.

24 August 2021

The Ideas Box: Making Enterprise, Engagement & Impact Everyone’s Business

The Business Engagement COP, led by The University of York, has produced a range of materials exploring barriers and opportunities.

25 June 2021

Funding Challenges for SocSci Business Engagement

A discussion about the challenges related to the funding for social science business engagement.

17 December 2020

Insights from the Business Engagement Workshop run with Creative Manchester

The event explored the requirements for effective collaboration between academia and the creative industries

8 December 2020

Meet the Aspect Student Accelerator Programme (ASAP) Mentors

Connecting founders in the accelerator cohort with experts in the startup space

18 November 2020

Green shoots emerge to commercialise social sciences

Julia Black outlines Aspect’s work in this area and flags our recently published 2020 Learning Report

28 October 2020

Aspect Learning Report 2020

Our annual summary of insights and learnings from across the Aspect programme

26 October 2020

Webinar recording: Reducing resource use

Reducing resource use through shared access to consumer goods: Barriers and motivations

22 October 2020

Webinar recording: The case for working in start-ups

Early career social scientists: The case for working in start-ups

30 September 2020

Webinar recording: How can social scientists engage business?

Exploring the top three success factors for effective engagement

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Identifying entrepreneurship opportunities and sharing knowledge and expertise


Business Engagement

Building a shared network of business partnerships and industry engagement

Business Engagement


Raising the profile of social sciences, arts and humanities research commercialisation and supporting communication and network engagement


Research Commercialisation

Sharing best practices and identifying new and experimental models

Research Commercialisation

Academic Champions

Coming soon

Academic Champions