Aspect members: LSE, Partner institution – TBC

What is the project doing?

LSE has developed a business incubator for scalable consultancy hubs (Exchanges) specialising in specific topic areas.  The Exchange model is designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial activity through an array of business support resources and services, developed and managed by LSE Consulting.   

This project seeks to develop this concept further by extending the model to involve cross-institutional consulting partnerships with universities that offer complementary services to those from LSE.  

Mirroring how Universities successfully forge research partnerships and collaborations with each other to develop joint programmes and projects, this project aims to pilot a joint consulting offer with another University for scalable services.  

Why is this needed? 

Generally, there is little opportunity for joint consulting projects at an institutional level. Individual academics do sometimes participate in some consulting project activity, but it is based on individual project needs. There is little follow up or opportunity to build on existing relationships with clients in a unified approach. There is also a varying degree of support and infrastructure for consulting services in universities, some operating on a more commercial footing while others operate under more of a research framework. This degree of difference makes it difficult to create consulting partnerships as resources are limited and often overstretched. 

There is an opportunity to create a joint Consulting Exchange between a Department or Centre at LSE and a Department or Centre with another university.  Matching will be based on identifying complementary services between the Departments or Centres so that the focus is on collaboration rather than competition. 

How can members get involved? 

The project will provide a pathway for universities to collaborate on consulting in a more formal, proactive way.  This approach has already been well established with Research but has not yet been developed in consulting.  Universities have an opportunity to compete more against private sector consulting companies if they can overcome the biggest challenge of securing sufficient academic interest in the project. Building a multidisciplinary Exchange between two or more institutions addresses the main challenge faced around capacity.  For further information please contact: Jeannine McMahon ( for any further information.