As a leading university, Lancaster is engaged with business and other sectors in stimulating innovation for economic growth through research and collaborative development. The collaborations range from business development programmes undertaken with small firms in the North West through work with multinational companies with global reach.

Imagination at Lancaster produces highly innovative solutions in the area of design in partnership with businesses, government and third sector organisations. Innovation and academic research are regarded as synergistic, Imagination's projects typically embodying both. Imagination receives funding from the research councils, central government and the European Union and has supported the creation of numerous jobs in the creative sectors.

Innovation for Growth is a EU supported programme at Lancaster University Management School, working with a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises to deliver product and process innovations, diversification, and hence business growth. The Management School also, through its Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, conducts significant research in the area of innovation.

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation likewise supports long-term collaborative R&D projects with small and medium-sized enterprises for the development of new eco-innovative products, processes and services, specifically in areas that promise environmental benefit.

In the health and social care sphere, the new Health Innovation Campus will deliver major innovations in conjunction with business partners, the public and third sectors and members of the public specifically in the context of the needs of the ageing population.

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