SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit

Impact and influence

SPRU's researchers are driven by a desire to tackle real world problems, working closely with government, business and civil society.

Whether it's fostering long-term productivity and innovation in the public or private sector, understanding the potential of expertise and evidence, or navigating a path to a more sustainable trajectory, many of today's most pressing problems require the kind of interdisciplinary research for which SPRU is widely recognised as a world leader.

With over 50 years of experience, SPRU is committed to 'engaging for change' and 'research with impact' - two key pillars of the University of Sussex 2025 Strategic Framework. SPRU does this not only in the dissemination phase but also by involving stakeholders in the framing and whole life cycle of research.

We pride ourselves on working closely with government departments, think tanks, media, companies, and parliamentary committees, to ensure our research benefits and enriches society, and influences policy and practice at international, national and regional levels.

Below are some recent examples (newest first) of how SPRU is helping decision makers in policy, business and civil society transition to a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive agenda: 

UN logo

Reframing UN Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Reviews

SPRU research shaped a new United Nations Framework which will help countries achieving the UN's SDGs.

Turbines sunset boxDiscussing transformative technologies in energy

Sussex Energy Group hosts an event with a panel of representatives from the UK energy sector.

Farming workshopWorking with Nature in Farming and Conservation

Event brings together experts from land management, sustainability and biodiversity to discuss farming and conservation.

Street workersMaking urban waste management more inclusive

SPRU research is guiding policy and practice change in India's waste management sector.

Nuclear event boxEnergy consumers subsidising nuclear submarines

Academics organise multi-stakeholder meeting to discuss the links between civil and military nuclear.

Data science graphic 100pxProfessor appointed to expert group

Prof Maria Savona appointed to European Commission High-Level Expert Group.

Colombia box 100pxColombia national strategy

Colombia adopts new innovation policy in their strategy for post-conflict development.

Medical imagery 100pxLife Sciences Industrial Strategy

House of Lords Select Committee report draws extensively on research by Dr Michael Hopkins.

Commons logo greenBEIS industrial strategy report

New report on industrial strategy cites evidence from SPRU researchers.

Art meets science graphic'The Fusion Effect' cited in WEF paper

SPRU research referenced in WEF White Paper, on the importance of combining arts and science.

Work with us

Our expertise could stimulate new perspectives on critical policy questions, or help drive innovation in your organisation. Working with UK, European and international policymakers, business leaders and civil society, SPRU offers a full range of external consultancy services and bespoke training packages for both groups and individuals.

We also support our staff to work 'in' as well as 'with' external constituencies, for example through knowledge transfer schemes, student placements, internships and secondment opportunities.