About the Department

SPRU is the longest-established and largest academic body studying science, technology and innovation in the world, ranked second only to Harvard in terms of research impact on innovation studies*. 

SPRU has over 40 years' experience in the analysis of science, technology and innovation. Our research starts from real world problems, engages in rigorous interdisciplinary research and policy advice, and makes theoretical contributions in the social sciences.

Our researchers investigate innovation in energy technologies and other remedies for climate change, informatics, healthcare, agriculture and food, weapons of mass destruction, and paths to sustainability in developed and developing countries. They come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds in the social and natural sciences and engineering, and employ insights from several disciplines including economics, sociology of technology, innovation studies, political science, strategic management, and business studies. This interdisciplinary combination makes SPRU unique in the world. We are also unique in working on economic competitiveness and wealth creation, as well as societal problems and good governance.

Combined with an international research culture founded on collegiality and mutual support, these characteristics make SPRU a vibrant, world-leading and socially relevant research centre.

*Source: Jan Fagerberg, Morten Fosaas, & Koson Sapprasert, Innovation: Exploring the knowledge base, Research Policy, 41 (2012) 1132– 1153 (Table 3, Fig. 2, Fig. 7)