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Strategic Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership

The aim of the Strategic Innovation & Entrepreneurial Leadership (SIEL) group is to empirically investigate strategic entrepreneurial leadership and innovation through the lens of entrepreneurial orientation and effectuation in variety of organization contexts.

The research focus of SIEL spans private and public research organizations, individual academics, scientists, nascent entrepreneurs and policy entrepreneurs. SIEL will disseminate our knowledge and expertise to academic audience, policy and practice stakeholders within the regional, nationally and internationally.

Strategic Leadership:

The conveners of CSIEL are: Professor James Cunningham , Dr Ignazio Cabras, Dr Sanjay Bhowmick, and Michele Rusk,  with a group membership including: Professor Fraser McLeay, Professor Tom Mordue and Dr Lorraine Johnson. The group are all  highly experienced researchers having an established  international track record of research outputs, research funding, policy and enterprise engagement.

Current Research Projects include:

NESTA Innovation growth Lab Programme; Co-investigators on NEMOG project, funded by the EPSRC (£1.2 million) which investigates the potential of digital games for economies and societies (; Wind Farms: saving the planet while ruining the landscape? Commissioned by the Institute of Local Governance.

Research Staff

Postgraduate Research PhD DBA

  • Peter Pease
  • Alex James
  • Elias Shahda
  • Vivian Ikechukwu-Ifudu
  • Kathryn Addicott
  • Horatio-Cristian Cojan

Recent Publications

  • Ciara Fitzgerald and James Cunningham, (Forthcoming) Mission Statement of University TTOs,  Journal of Technology Transfer.  DOI 10.1007/s10961-015-9419-6.
  • Cunningham, J and Link, A. (Forthcoming) Fostering University-Industry R&D Collaborations in European Union Countries, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal. (DOI10.1007/s11365-014-0317-4).
  • Cunningham, J, Mangematin, V., O’Kane, C. and O’Reilly, P. (Forthcoming) At the Frontiers of Scientific Advancement: The Factors that Influence Scientists to Become or Choose to Become Publicly Funded Principal Investigators, Journal of Technology Transfer, DOI: 10.1007/s10961-015-9400-4.
  • Cunningham, J, O’Reilly,P. O’Kane, C. and Mangematin,V (2014)The Inhibiting Factors that Publicly Funded Principal Investigators Experience in Leading Publicly Funded Research Projects, Journal of Technology Transfer, 39(1), pp.93-110.
  • Cunningham, J, O’Reilly,P., O’Kane, C. and Mangematin,V (2015) Managerial Challenges of Publicly Funded Principal Investigators, International Journal of Technology Management, 68(3-4),176-202.
  • Cunningham,J Guerrero, M and Urbano, D (2016) Entrepreneurial University, Technology and Knowledge Transfer, World Scientific Press Innovation Series.

Current Seminar Programme

Annual Technology Transfer Society Conference (T2S) 28th to 30th October 2015, Dublin Institute of Technology ( 

Current Projects

Title: Thomas Swann Ltd

Details: Graphene Commercialisation and Strategic Marketing Project

Funding: Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Collaborators: Professor Fraser McLeay and Michele Rusk 

Past Projects

Title: Economic Baseline for Galway City and County Council

Details here: This project has three core elements that provide underpinning data to support the next phase of the development of an economic plan for the city and county.

  • White Papers: These provide background information in relation to Innovation; Innovation and Entrepreneurship Policy Overview: US, EU and Ireland and Macro and Firm Level Innovation Measurement and Indicators. Read more in the Resources section.
  • Sectoral Overviews: We have conducted 9 sectoral overviews of key sectors for Galway City and County - creative, agriculture, education, retail, tourism, food, marine, information, communications and technology and medical devices. Read more in the Resources section.
  • Visualisation using Public Data: We have identified key data points that are relevant to the development of an economic plan and using public data sources visualized and mapped them so you can compare your area to another as well as providing aggregated data for both City and County.

Funding: Galway City and County Council

Collaborators: Professor James Cunningham, David Kelly, Brendan Dolan and Chris Young


Title: Creative Edge

Details: Creative Edge wasa project funded by the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP). The main objective of the project was to promote the active participation of local creative organisations and businesses in global markets, while also aiding them in their ability to attract and utilise local emerging creative talent in these markets.  The activities of the project  enabled the further commercialisation, and support the sustainable development, of the creative economy. Creative Edge addressed three pillars of the creative economy: PEOPLE, PRODUCTION and PLACE. Creative Edge brought together universities, development agencies and industry bodies from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland and Sweden. The project involves five partners, the Whitaker Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and the Western Development Commission (WDC) in the west of Ireland, Craigavon Borough Council, member of South East Economic Development (SEED), in Northern Ireland, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences (KTUAS) in  northern Finland and Film i Vasterbotten (FiV) in northern

Funding: Northern Periphery Programme

Collaborators: Professor James Cunningham; Dr Patrick Collins; Dr Aisligh Murtagh and David Kelly


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