Dr Muthu De Silva - Imagine Festival

Muthu holds a joint position as the Leader of Entrepreneurial Co-creation at the Big Innovation Centre and a Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London.  She has developed, directed and grown the Entrepreneurial Co-creation catalytic project to become a keystone in the U.K. innovation landscape evidenced by internationally renowned projects completed, major grants secured and the influence on U.K. science and innovation policies and business practices.

Currently she is leading the Lab of Labs project, the main aim of which is to investigate ‘what good looks like’ in an open innovation lab where multiple stakeholders including universities, businesses, government, intermediaries, financial institutions and government work as co-players to address common challenges and co-create academic, business and social value. She led two major influential projects; one to investigate how universities and businesses closely work together to co-create knowledge in the U.K. and the other to understand how Technology and Innovation Centres in Europe, as intermediaries, closely work with universities, businesses and government when engaging in EU projects. This work has been used by the U.K. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the U.K. Intellectual Property Office and, and Innovate U.K., as well as having influenced science, innovation and technology policies in the U.K..

She holds a PhD in Academic Entrepreneurship (2012 from Manchester Business School/ Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester) for which she received a bursary from the School’s Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She also gained a Distinction for her MBA at the Bradford University School of Management, in which she received the ‘Strategic Planning Society Prize’ for the best performance in Strategic Management (2008). In 2005 she graduated with a First Class honours degree (in Economics and Business Management) from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, receiving the gold medal for the most outstanding performance.

Prior to joining the Big Innovation Centre she worked as an Associate Academic Staff member at the Bradford University School of Management, a Teaching and Research Assistant at Manchester Business School and a Lecturer at the University of Peradeniya.

“The digital revolution and challenges of this new world have heightened the need to develop, nurture and capitalise on new networks and relationships. But regardless of the importance of co-creation, this is not easy to do. We need to develop good practices that unlock successful co-creation. That is why I push for designing toolkits to understand how best to co-create and for testing and experimenting co-creation good practices. I feel strongly that universities, businesses, government, financial institutions, intermediaries and society should become better co-players and work together closely to co-create business, academic, and social value.”