SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

About the Department

The Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) is one of the world’s leading centres of research on science, technology and innovation policy and management.

Everything we do is driven by a desire to tackle real world challenges such as climate change and inequality. We passionately believe that innovative science policy solutions can help create more sustainable, secure and equal societies. At SPRU we are:

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Connecting experts and insights

Our faculty connect with academics across the social and natural sciences, engineering and the humanities to develop interdisciplinary, holistic research and teaching. 

Students studying

Teaching the next generation

We're teaching the next generation of innovation leaders and policy makers through our Masters courses, PhD degrees and providing bespoke training for innovation policy professionals. 

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Developing leading research initiatives

We're engaging with a range of partners and stakeholders, including governments, policymakers, academics, industry and civil society around the world to find practical solutions to global challenges. 

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Engaging with a wide range of partners

We're engaging with a range of partners and stakeholders, including governments, policymakers, academics, industry and civil society around the world to find practical solutions to global challenges. 

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Tackling key global challenges

Our research addresses pressing global issues. Key areas of focus are … climate change, environmental destruction, healthcare, inequality and insecurity, through the use of science, technology and the management of innovation for transformative change. We passionately believe that innovative science policy solutions can help create a more sustainable, secure and equal world.


Pioneering innovation studies for more than 50 years

With over 50 years of experience, SPRU is internationally recognised as a leading centre of research on science, technology and innovation policy.

Founded in 1966 by Christopher Freeman, a pioneer of what is now known as innovation studies, SPRU was one of the first interdisciplinary research centres in the field of science and technology policy and management.

Today, we remain at the forefront of new ideas, challenge-led research and inspiring teaching.

Christopher Freeman, the founder of the SPRU


SPRU in numbers

  • To date, some 600 engaged academics have worked or are working at SPRU
  • More than 9,000 publications have been produced 
  • Around 1,000 Masters students have gained post-graduate qualifications with us
  • More than 350 PhD theses have been written. 

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