Babbage Policy Forum

Industrial Innovation Policy Awards

Encouraging practice-oriented academic and professional contributions to industrial innovation policy analysis and design.

About the awards

Awards of up to $10K, $5K and $3K available
Submission deadline 20 August 2021


The need for effective policies towards industrial innovation has been thrown into sharp relief by recent international events. Increasingly complex relationships between technology, innovation and industrial competitiveness have been further complicated by the emergence of a global pandemic. Such challenges are likely to require new policies at local, national and regional levels.

Traditionally, economics has provided the main conceptual frameworks for policymakers, but it is increasingly apparent that other disciplines including engineering, technology management and political science provide essential perspectives and insights. Expertise and analysis from these and other disciplines need to be integrated with economic frameworks if robust and implementable policies are to be developed.

The competition

The competition seeks to elicit new, multi-disciplinary insights, analysis or synthesis to enhance the development of effective policies towards industrial innovation.

Questions to be addressed might include, but are not limited to:

  • How should policies to support industrial innovation be prioritised?
  • How might policies to support technology and innovation be integrated to drive industrial competitiveness?
  • How have lessons learned from COVID-19 influenced our understanding of the role of manufacturing in national economies?
  • What particular insights from engineering, technology management and/or political science could enrich dominant economic frameworks with respect to technology, innovation and industrial competitiveness?
  • What industrial innovation policymaking processes are best suited to dynamic environments?
  • What institutional arrangements are needed to provide evidence for policies towards industrial innovation?

The competition is open to all and the judges will welcome submissions from early career as well as more established scholars and practitioners.


The judges will favour submissions of approximately 3000 words, which:

  • Address clearly identified industrial innovation policy challenges
  • Draw upon several disciplines highlighting novel theoretical and/or practical insights
  • Articulate how the insights might be operationalised in practical policymaking
  • Attach a briefly annotated reference list where appropriate

Submission and assessment

The deadline for submissions is midnight on 20 August 2021 and a shortlist of leading submissions will be announced at the end of August. Assessment will be by a panel drawn from the Babbage International Policy Forum which includes leading international academics from economics, engineering, management and political science. Award winners will be invited to the Babbage Forum meeting in Cambridge on 22 September 2021 either in person or remotely depending on the conditions prevailing at the time. Travel expenses will be paid for this forum if held in person. Babbage members who hold positions on the editorial boards of leading journals have agreed to assist prize-winners in seeking early publication.

Submissions should be addressed to Professor Sir Michael Gregory, Chairman, Babbage Forum, University of Cambridge, via Sarah Cheung Johnson:

Submit your entry

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