IDEAS Factory

The IDEAS Factory approach is about finding new ways to make new connections, which are frequently cross disciplinary, and also generate novel research projects coupled with real-time peer review. We aim to stimulate highly innovative and more risk-accepting research activities that would be difficult to conceive under normal circumstances.

EPSRC's IDEAS Factory approach began life in 2003 with one aim - to provide a new dimension in problem solving. It breaks down barriers and builds new relationships to create a world of endless possibilities. The Sandpit was the first approach to be developed but the IDEAS Factory has evolved to include a number of different approaches, all aimed at supporting and enabling people to express their creative and transformative ideas.

Our approaches have been supported by the community and shown to deliver research outcomes that might otherwise not have been achieved. These leading edge, innovative processes are now also widely used by others such as, UK universities, other research councils and funding agencies worldwide, including the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Facilitating Research cooperation between Europe and New Zealand (FRENZ).

Universities are being encouraged to use some of these approaches to maximise creative thinking within their own communities so you may see, hear or even participate in some of these and whilst these will have similar aims it is worth noting that unless they are actually run by EPSRC they are not part of our IDEAS Factory portfolio of different approaches.

Some of our innovative approaches are: