Welcome to Aspect

A Social Sciences Platform for Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Transformation


About Aspect

Aspect (a social sciences platform for entrepreneurship, commercialisation and transformation) is a network led by an alliance of seven UK universities who are encouraging collaboration between academics and businesses, and applying social sciences to private and social enterprise.


Launched in 2018 with a £5m award from the Connecting Capability Fund (CCF), Aspect aims to be an on-going and permanent network beyond its initial 3-year funding. Network membership will soon open to universities, research institutes, business, public sector, investors, funders and other organisations who share the Aspect mission and vision.


Our vision is to transform the contribution that social sciences research and student entrepreneurship makes for the betterment of society, through collaboration with innovators and business leaders. 


Aspect members sit at the epicentre of discovery, imagination and progress in the social sciences. We draw together pioneering academics with innovative industry leaders to tackle the most complex societal challenges of our time. The Aspect network centres insight from social science research to develop and share new methods, best practice, and insight for private and social enterprise. We aim to amplify transformative power of ideas into business solutions, of knowledge into high-impact commercial solutions.


The Aspect Network aims to address the challenges of social sciences commercialisation by:

a) Raising the profile and significance of social sciences commercialisation in industry and society

b) Providing opportunities for industry to engage with social science academics

c) Inspiring researchers to consider commercialisation as a pathway to impact, and to see it as relevant to them

d) Building capacity and expertise within the community of Technology Transfer/Business Engagement practitioners 

e) Providing channels (both digital and in-person) for the sharing and exchange of good practice in social sciences commercialisation.

Founding Members

Aspect comprises a partnership between lead partner LSE, and the Universities of Manchester and Sussex (the recipients of funding from Research England), and the Universities of Oxford, Sheffield, Cardiff and Glasgow.  Together, these founder members seek to create the network to identify and share best practice in social sciences commercialisation. This is done in partnership with Zinc, a key Aspect business partner that builds new tech companies to solve the developed world’s toughest social issues.

Aspect is funded as part of an investment through Research England’s Connecting Capability Fund in new collaborative projects to drive forward world-class university commercialisation across the country.

The Connecting Capability Fund supports universities in working together, and with businesses and other partners, to commercialise research and share good practice and capacity. The Fund is highlighted in the Government’s Industrial Strategy and will help achieve its aims of enhancing UK industrial competitiveness and productivity.


What will Aspect deliver?

Aspect members benefit from the convening power and collective knowledge that is shared accross the network.

  • Access to expertise: The network brings together experts in the field who are keen to share knowledge and learnings.

  • Access to events: The network organises and guides exciting and useful events to further the aims of Aspect.

  • Access to resources: The network is developing resources such as tool kits and case studies to facilitate member learning and add value for members.

  • Direction setting: As a convener and leader of debate on SS commercialisation, being part of the network means you can add your voice to the conversation.

  • Access to potential collaborators or clients: The network is building connections with industry and academics to facilitate and promote social sciences research and impact.

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