Loughborough University London invests in further impactful research projects

On Wednesday 13th November the second group of projects funded under Loughborough University London’s innovative JOINT Fund scheme came together to share their progress.

The JOINT fund is a campus wide open funding pot to help seed and develop Research, Teaching and Enterprise (RTE) projects led by academic staff on our London campus. Part of the strategy for Loughborough University London is to initiate and incubate multi-disciplinary work amongst the seven institutes to rapidly accelerate research, teaching and partnership activities. The JOINT fund is one of the activities undertaken to achieve this.

Previous JOINT fund projects have included developing prototypes that reduce coffee cup waste, investigating corporate social responsibility in esports and developing a new standard for energy providers to take action on energy poverty.

Professor Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University London’s Associate Dean for Research said:

“The JOINT Fund is all about seed funding academics to develop innovative activities. It is brilliant to see how so much impactful work has been delivered through this route and how the London Institutes, working together with colleagues in the East Midlands, are building exciting new areas of research.”

Amongst the group of 12 newly funded projects are multi-disciplinary groups of researchers looking into the impact of Brexit on London, emerging cities strategy in China and new systems of micro-finance across Africa.  Companies and organisations such as Huami, Mastercard and Unilever are involved with activity planned globally throughout the year.

Professor Tony Edwards, Dean of Loughborough University London said:

The pioneering work of the JOINT fund is really central to the research community we are developing in London. The links it is helping us to develop – between our institutes, between our campuses and out into the real world are truly global in reach and impactful in outlook. We are holding regular sharing events across the year that I would encourage all colleagues to attend.

Projects will come to the end of their JOINT Fund funded period at the end of July 2020 with a celebration of Loughborough University London’s research activities planned for early in the month. A new round of JOINT Fund projects will be launched in January 2020 with funding from August 2020. For more information please contact Ben Cole.

Awarded Projects


Short Summary

Lead Institute

Dr Anna Grosman

The project, entitled "Boards in an uncertain environment: from digitalization to climate change", will set up a number of activities that would help boards and top management teams to navigate turbulent external environments, with a particular focus on two of today's and tomorrow's challenges: digitalisation and climate change. Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Dr Burçe Celik


 Considering the significance of de-colonising movement in media and design studies, this initiative will develop a research project that uncovers the non-western, gendered or minority media/design industries and practices of the past. This will be done in collaboration with the link school and major research centres across the world. Institute for Media and Creative Industries


Dr Cristian Nitoiu

The project aims to develop a community of experts and organisations that work on diplomacy in the neighbourhood of the European Union. The objective is to organise an initial workshop where experts from the region and London would share expertise and practices about ‘speaking truth to power’ (i.e. engaging with policymakers).

Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance

Dr Gerhard Schnyder

We have the unique opportunity to study an innovative micro-finance project in Kenya called Jaza Duka (“fill up your store”) run by Mastercard, Unilever, and Kenya Commercial Bank. The funding will support field work in Kenya. The study will support our teaching and research initiatives in international development.

Institute for International Management

Dr Jessica Noske-Turner

Loughborough University London will host an inaugural two-day conference/festival in partnership with Malmo University. The interdisciplinary event brings together academics, students, practitioners and activists on the theme of ‘Connection’. A smaller 2-day writing retreat follows the Festival. The event catalyses a partnership with Malmö University, contributing across research, enterprise and teaching strategies. 

Institute for Media and Creative Industries

Dr Laura Santamaria

The Institute for Design Innovation in partnership with the Institute for Sport Business wish to set up a 2-day start-up workshop delivered in January 2020 for Loughborough University London staff (including PhD students) looking to develop businesses, or licence teaching/research material to extend the impact of faculty Enterprise activities across Loughborough University London.

The work would draw on activity already undertaken by the Institute for Design Innovation and members of the Future Space in supporting early stage high growth businesses through acceleration programmes.

Institute for Design Innovation

Dr Ling Zhang

We propose to conduct an inter-disciplinary comparative ethnographic study of multinational corporations (MNC) originated from China’s emerging cities. We plan to conduct fieldwork at Huami Technology (private enterprise, confirmed) and Chery Automobile (state-owned, in promising negotiation) to identify key globalizing actors for a larger research programme on strategic people management in emerging market MNCs.

Institute for International Management

Dr Luda Svystunova

We would like to conduct pilot fieldwork for a larger study of social activism in and around multinational corporations together with a group of international partners from Canada, the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico.

Institute for International Management

We are following 19 initiatives in the Southern African region funded by the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAIS) programme which aims at catalysing new businesses and foster the culture of local and regional entrepreneurship. By conducting interviews with grantees, we hope to illuminate the value creation process of local intermediaries.

Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Professor Thomas Tufte

Responding to the London School’s priorities on International Development and partnership building, this project will strengthen partnerships with universities and organisations in the Global South. Cross-Institute teams from LDN will visit South Africa and Brazil, exploring Southern perspectives on International Development and to advance LDN’s teaching and research ambitions.

Institute for Media and Creative Industries

Dr Tim Oliver

Bring together a group of academics and members of London’s politics, business and civil society communities at the conference ‘London Calling Brexit: Studying London in a changing UK, Europe and the World’. In addition to discussing Brexit, the conference will start a network committed to improving academic research on London.

Institute for Diplomacy and International Governance

Dr Vicky Lofthouse


The Circular Economy is now a key development and business innovation framework. However, little is known about how innovators think about and promote the all-important role of the consumer/user. This scoping study will explore this field.

Institute for Design Innovation