LSE Innovation Challenge

Could your research help SHAPE the world?

If the answer is yes, or you’re keen to explore the possibilities of your research's positive impact, why not take up the LSE Innovation Challenge. 

The LSE Innovation Challenge provides an opportunity to explore, identify, test and implement models for the delivery of sustainable impact at scale.


WHAT is it?

Focused on creating a holistic innovation ecosystem, LSE Innovation (LSEi) has developed a framework of support activity and resources that leverages the expertise within LSE Research and Innovation and the LSE Alumni community to increase the School’s exposure to external stakeholders, including funders, and provide LSE academic researchers with an opportunity to explore, identify, test, and implement models for the delivery of sustainable impact at scale.  

LSEi has identified a small but growing cluster of potential high impact projects capable of creating impact at scale that follow a “Measurement or Benchmarking” theme, usually of things that are very difficult to define and measure. 

In some cases, ideas have involved large, complex, and often unstructured datasets and followed a data capture, evaluation, analysis, insight generation and presentation format. Other ideas have ranged from the development of new methodologies and processes to the curation of specialist databases that have applications in a wide and diverse range of areas such as the Economy, Health and Social Care, The Environment and Climate Change, and Policy and Democracy.  

The LSE Innovation Challenge is a bi-annual call for LSE researchers to develop ideas based on their research to help meet the challenges faced by the world in a time of rapid change. 

The intention is to connect the research development stage of a “fundable” research idea, to a marketable, impact generating, and tangible outcome or the “applied” stage of research. 

All ideas are welcome and will be considered, in that each submission will receive the same support provided to potential new LSEi projects. In addition, shortlisted applications will be entered into the competition element of the challenge and be eligible for an intensive programme of support designed to accelerate the exploration of the commercial potential of their research. 

WHO is it for?

It’s open to all engaged in academic research across LSE's academic units (N.B. support for students, including PhD students, is available from LSE Generate). We encourage researchers to engage with us and each other to discover the support available to help them create sustainable long-term impact from the outcomes of their individual or collaborative research.

WHEN is it?

The latest challenge opened on Monday 6 March 2023 and applications will be accepted up to Friday 26 May 2023. Between these dates, a meeting can be arranged with the LSE Innovation Team to confidentially discuss the potential and inventiveness of your idea.

All applicants will have the opportunity to make a short presentation to the review panel during the week commencing Monday 5 June 2023.

The winners and runners up will be announced on Monday 12 June 2023.

WHY get involved?

Whether it leads to the creation of a new spinout company or is an idea that needs the collaboration of a commercial partner or policymaker, this challenge is an opportunity for researchers to discover the support available for developing ideas at LSE, such as sources of translational funding, entrepreneurial training, incubators and mentorship, and to find a pathway to have a positive impact on some of the most important issues of our time.

The winning application will be awarded £10,000 and each runner up awarded £5,000 to be used for market validation and commercialisation activities. 

HOW do I apply?

It’s simple to apply - download our short application form

Previous Challenge Winners

The first challenge opened on Monday 5 September 2022 and all applications received before Friday 14 October 2022 were reviewed by the panel which decided the first three places as follows: 

First: Jens Koed Madsen from the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science was awarded a prize of £10,000 to develop a computational model that can scenario-test when and why information systems become vulnerable to disinformation.

Second: Adelina Comas-Herrera from the Care Policy and Evaluation Centre was awarded a prize of £5,000 to build the Global Observatory of Long-Term Care to facilitate cross-national learning to improve and strengthen care systems in response to increased longevity.  

Third: Marie Oldfield from the Department of Mathematics was awarded a prize of £5,000 to develop an evidence-based audit and certification process for the development of ethical AI.



To arrange a preliminary call with the LSE Innovation Team, contact Matt Hindhaugh,