Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise

Staff Profile

Professor Jonathan Sapsed

Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Jonathan Sapsed is Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Newcastle University Business School.

He is Principal Investigator of Creative Fuse North East, a £2.2m collaboration between the five North East universities funded by AHRC and ERDF, which aims to support innovation and research-led growth in the region. This is a successor to The Brighton Fuse projects, which he led previously in a significant creative-digital cluster. He is a Co-Investigator of the AHRC’s Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) researching clustering and international competitiveness.

Jonathan is an Expert Advisor on evaluation to the UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and he is appointed to the College of Experts for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Regionally he is Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board of the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s Creative and Cultural Industries Fund.

Jonathan has researched innovation in digital firms in Silicon Valley in the US, UK video games developers, as well as companies such as Disney, Ericsson, Sun Microsystems, and QinetiQ.  Jonathan has been invited to speak and teach in Brazil, China, France, India, Italy, Serbia, the USA and Vietnam. He recently worked with South African collaborators on the Cape Town Fuse project, replicating the Fuse method of studying creative clusters in the UK.

His work is published in journals such as Research Policy and Organization Studies and he is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Creative Industries. Jonathan has served on the editorial boards of Journal of Management, Technovation and International Journal of Innovation Management.

He was previously at the London School of Economics, SPRU at the University of Sussex, CENTRIM at University of Brighton and Imperial College Business School.



2020- 2023 – Principal Investigator, Creative Fuse North East, ESIF (£1.1.m) and AHRC (£600,000) funded, leading a consortium of Durham University, Northumbria University, University of Sunderland and Teesside University.

2018- 2023 - Co-Investigator, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, AHRC funded with Nesta leading a national consortium of university partners with Newcastle University leading Work Strand 5 on International Competitiveness (£6m, £500, 000 to Newcastle)

2014-2015 - Principal Investigator, ‘Brighton Fuse 2’, AHRC funded with UoB Faculty of Arts; SPRU, University of Sussex; Wired Sussex, (£275,000)

2011-2013 - Principal Investigator, ‘Brighton Fuse’, AHRC funded with UoB Faculty of Arts; SPRU, University of Sussex; Wired Sussex; National Council for Universities and Business,


2012-2016 - Theme Co-ordinator, Project Management Board member, ‘Unveiling Creativity for Innovation in Europe (CRE8TV.EU)’ European Commission FP7 funded with University of Manchester, University Bocconi Milan, Politecnico di Milano, Copenhagen Business School and 5 other European partners, (€2.5m)

2008-2010 – Principal Investigator, ‘Mid-Career Fellowship on Innovation’, Advanced Institute of Management Research (AIM), ESRC/EPSRC funded, assessed as ‘Very Good’, (£141,000)

2007-2009 - Co-Investigator, Project Manager, project ‘Mapping and Upgrading Creative Processes for Sustained Innovation: The challenge facing UK electronic games developers', EPSRC funded with three research fellows and six industry partners, (2 ‘outstanding’ referee ratings), (£225,000)

2002-2004 - Project Manager, ‘Managing Knowledge Spaces: Mapping the Effects of Dispersed Teamworking on Project Performance’, EPSRC Learning Across Business Sectors Initiative (rated second nationally), with Imperial College Business School and industrial partners including Sun Microsystems, Ove Arup, Bombardier Adtranz, CAE, Mott MacDonald, MWH, assessed as ‘Tending to Outstanding’(£270,000).

1999 – 2001- Research Fellow, ‘Teamworking for Knowledge Management: Building Capabilities in Complex Environments’. EPSRC funded with Cranfield School of Management. Project assessed as ‘Tending to Outstanding’.

1999 – Research Fellow, ‘Improving Project Performance through Knowledge Capture and Transfer in Complex Product Systems Producers’, EPSRC funded SPRU-CENTRIM, assessed as ‘Tending to Outstanding’.

1993-1994, Research Assistant, MIT International Motor Vehicle Program project on European Component Suppliers and Daiwa Institute project on Japan-UK collaborations in multimedia.


2017- 2019, Academic Advisor collaborating with Newcastle University’s Culture Lab on project on digital innovation strategy within Northern Stage theatre organisation, £112,637 from Innovate UK, assessed as ‘Very Good’.


2019, Principal Investigator, UK-China Creative Industries Partnership Development grant, ‘Stage Worlds: A UK- China Innovation Partnership’ with Northern Stage, Shanghai Theatre Academy, PROTO and other partners, £25,000 from AHRC.


Recent and current modules

NBS8134 ‘Business Enterprise Policy’ MSc module, designed and taught (overall satisfaction, 4 of 5)

NBS8498 ‘Managing Innovation’, MBA module, designed and taught (overall satisfaction, 4.8 of 5)

I am open to new doctoral students on the topics of creative industries, innovation management and policy.