Ideas Development

ideas developmentIdeas Exchanges and Research Sandpits

Creative Exchange has facilitated a number of Research Sandpits, and developed the Ideas Exchange in response to the need for a shorter, less resource-intensive alternative.

Research Sandpits were developed by EPSRC (the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) as a means to develop more innovative, more exciting, more interdisciplinary research proposals from the scientific community.  They typically take the form of an intensive, five-day residential facilitated process.  Our sandpits have covered topics including:

  • Bridging the Digital Divide
  • New Thinking in Mobile & Distributed Healthcare
  • Large Scale Solutions to Water Scarcity

Ideas Exchanges aim to generate novel multidisciplinary research proposals from across different Departments within on University.  Developed with the University of Surrey, recent Ideas Exchanges have included:

  • Sustainability
  • Systems and Life
  • Physical science in arts and culture


“Academics are fiercely independent and notoriously prone to disillusionment with any processes that require a facilitator. Thus, I was hugely impressed by Dee and Matthew’s ability to tease out alternative ways of thinking about problems, facilitate the formation of multidisciplinary teams and keep a room full of academics enthused in the process and laughing for a full week. Indeed, I don’t think I have ever been to an event like this where the delegates warmed so much to the facilitators.”

Bill Sloan, Professor of Environmental Engineering
University of Glasgow
Sandpit Director