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To discuss how you and your organisation can get more involved with The Work Foundation, please contact our partnership team.

Call 020 7976 3509 or email

Lancaster University and The Work Foundation

The Work Foundation was acquired by Lancaster University in 2010. It operates as a distinctive entity from its Westminster base under the ownership of the University.

Lancaster University and The Work Foundation share long-standing research synergies, and the partnership enables both organisations to have an increased influence on the change agenda, devoting expertise to research in areas that are crucial to the UK economy.

The Work Foundation is governed by The Work Foundation Alliance Board, chaired by Professor Sue Cox, Dean of Lancaster University Management School.

The Research Development Board includes staff from both Lancaster University  and The Work Foundation and meets regularly to discuss future research synergies.

Joint collaborative work between Lancaster University and The Work Foundation includes:

  • The London Creative Digital Fusion Project 
    Drawing on the expertise of both The Work Foundation and Lancaster University, this £5.1m project supports innovative collaborations between small and medium-sized businesses in the London digital and creative industries. Other partners in the initiative are the University of London, Queen Mary University, the Royal College of Art and the Council for Industry and Higher Education. This initiative runs until June 2014 and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

  • Design in European Policies
    This €1.45m EU-funded project aims to evaluate and share design innovation policies to help spur European growth. The Work Foundation’s Big Innovation Centre and Lancaster University’s ImaginationLancaster are collaborating to map EU design innovation policies; create a tool for policymakers to evaluate future design policies; and provide an online platform for policymakers to access the evaluation tool. Other partners on the project are Politecnico di Milano, Confartigianato Lombardia, Munktell Science Park and Pro Design.

  • UK design as a global industry: international trade and intellectual property
    This recent research project was commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and was led by The Work Foundation’s Big Innovation Centre with support from Lancaster University’s ImaginationLancaster. Launched at an event in June, the research mapped the UK design industry’s role in global trade in design and offered analysis and recommendations for the IPO on the role of design rights in supporting international trade in design. It provided an opportunity for copyright owners, technology companies, users, consumers, academics and policymakers to explore the legal implications of design rights and the international scale of UK design and IP.

  • The Impact of Engaging
    In January 2012, a joint conference between LUMS and The Work Foundation, ran in London to help organisations, academics, practitioners and policy makers understand the impact of knowledge exchange between higher education institutions, government and industry.

  • Letting the Barbarians through the Gates: Harnessing the power of social media
    Part of The Work Foundation’s larger stream of work on the role of HR in supporting organisational innovation, this project examined best practice around how employees use social media in the workplace. It was a close collaboration between researchers from the Centre for Workforce Effectiveness, the late David White, formerly a LUMS PhD candidate and LUMS Professor Mike Chiasson. The report was launched at an event in September 2011 at The Work Foundation. A summary of the research was published in the November 2011 edition of HR Magazine.