Diabetes Innovation


This project seeks to explore the cultural and organizational barriers to adoption of innovation into the NHS. We are particularly interested in the interaction between NHS staff, clinician-academics and industry. Our focus for the initial project is on the adoption of new diabetic treatments and technologies in primary care, although we see this as a pilot programme to develop a methodology that could be used in other sectors. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only study of tri-sectoral collaboration, although other groups have investigated interactions between pairs of sectors.


We work with a multidisciplinary team including the NHS, pharmaceutical industry, and academics from social science and medical disciplines. Our mixed methodology includes qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey, which we used to elicit views and experience of collaboration during innovation adoption, with a sample covering practitioners in all three sectors. The work aims to identify barriers and enablers for adoption, and probes attitudes relating to adoption of technologies from different sources.


Based on the findings of the qualitative work, we designed and fielded a survey, and our analysis has been submitted for publication. An earlier version of this work was presented at the Radcliffe Department of Medicine Annual Symposium 2016, and the poster can be found here. We observed differences between the three sectors in the range of collaboration and work experiences of individuals. Further, we found preconceptions within each sector about the behaviours and motivations of the others. We suggest that current translational networks, while providing a forum for collaboration, may be insufficient without mechanisms to build relationships and cross-sector understanding.

The next phase of this work will investigate the role of boundary-spanning individuals who bring knowledge of a different sector to their work in a new environment. We will also explore a similar collaboration point earlier in the development process: transition of a technology from academic discovery into commercial development.

Current Core Team

Louise Fitzgerald, Visiting Professor of Organisational Change at the Said Business School

Suzanne Ii, Post-doctoral researcher, CASMI


Mary Keenan, Medical Director of the Oxfordshire CCG

Megan Morys-Carter, Executive Director, Entrepreneurship Centre, Said Business School

Natasha Davie, medical sciences DPhil student

Samuel Bannon, University of Oxford

Neil Armstrong, anthropology DPhil student


For more information on the project, contact Liz Morrell.