Productivity Project Fund – Round 1 (#pieceofthepuzzle campaign)

We are pleased to announce the successful projects funded from the Productivity Projects Fund in Round 1.  The ‘#pieceofthepuzzle’ campaign challenged teams of academic and non-academic partners to take a multi-disciplinary social science approach in finding fresh insights into the UK’s productivity puzzle. Applicants were encouraged to draw on the PIN evidence reviews, which highlight gaps in our current understanding of UK productivity.

An overwhelming response was received to the call and the PIN team want to thank all of the multidisciplinary teams that applied for the work that they put in. The award panel was greatly impressed by the quality project proposals received. Four ‘Pioneer Projects’ were funded up to £50,000 each and eight ‘Small Projects’ were funded up to £10,000 each.

Projects start work in September 2018. Pioneer Projects will take around ten months to complete and Small Projects, four months. See below for details of the successful multi-disciplinary projects and what they aim to achieve.

Pioneer Projects

•Professor Jillian MacBryde (University of Strathlyde) will lead a project entitled “Productivity – what do UK manufacturers really think?”
•Professor Duncan Maclennan (University of Glasgow) will lead an mulit-disciplinary team attempting to provide a new approach to addressing how housing outcomes impact on productivity. The study has the potential to offer a better conversation about productivity and a new narrative for housing policies.
•Professor Karina Nielsen (University of Sheffield) will lead a project entitled “Returning to Work and Thriving at Work”
•Dr Cath Sleeman’s (Nesta) team will be working on a novel approach to measuring skills mismatch using online job advert data, skills supply data from the UK’s Labour Force Survey and a skills taxonomy developed in previous research. 

Small Projects

•Alex Beard (CFE)will lead a small project  looking to advance our understanding of the relationship between non-cognitive skills and productivity.
•Dr Tom Forth (ODI Leeds) leads the project “Real Journey Time -Real City Size” which aims to make novel use of open data to estimate the productivity in the UK’s large cities that is sacrificed by poor transport infrastructure.
•Professor Sara Cantillon (Glasgow Caledonian University) leads the project “The Divergence of Productivity and Pay?” which will deliver an empirical analysis of the links between pay, pay inequality, economic growth and productivity.
•Professor Matthew Gorton (Newcastle University) leads a team looking at to what extent regional productivity differences are a result of structural issues or whether after controlling for profile variables, does the productivity of firms in the Northern Powerhouse, Midlands Engine and rural locations continue to lag the Rest of England and urban areas.
•Professor Anne Green (University of Birmingham) and her project team will be working on “The UK Futures Programme: a longer-term evaluation”. It will inform policy on the ‘hooks’ which are effective in engaging businesses in productivity, which interventions enhance productivity and the sustainability of different approaches.
•Dr Wendy Martin (Brunel University) will be leading a small research project which aims to co-design innovative solutions to enhance the wellbeing of the workforce in SMEs.
•Professor Martin Spring (University of Lancaster) leads a study examining the links between the measures that drive management decision and action in SMEs, and the productivity outcomes that result, cutting across various themes identified in the Evidence Reviews.
•Dr Rob Wapshott (University of Sheffield) will be leading an multidisciplinary team with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in their project “Advanced Manufacturing Management”, exploring the realisation of productivity through effective talent management in high-value advanced-manufacturing SMEs.

Thank you again to all who applied. We look forward to keeping you updated on progress of the both the Pioneer and Small Projects as they strive to find their own #pieceofthepuzzle.

The PIN Team