Our vision is to be recognised globally as the UK’s applied research powerhouse, and as a leader of sustainable innovation.

We will deliver this in collaboration with our partners through pragmatic ingenuity, harnessing the diversity of our community.

Our transformative research will span from idea to impact. The co-design of research with industry, and government, is the mainstay of our mission-inspired agenda and will be supported by investment in our researchers, digitalisation, and unique large-scale facilities.

Our entrepreneurial spirit and innovation ecosystem will be harnessed to drive regional business growth and skills development. We will better communicate and promote our research and innovation across the globe.

Aligned with our new Corporate Plan and values – , five priority areas will shape our future research and innovation:

1. Scholarship with Purpose

Promoting scholarship will underpin our research in science, engineering, technology, and management. We will encourage a research culture whose central tenet promotes the articulation of intellectual contribution for useful application. We will reinforce the sense of excitement, wonder, curiosity, and passion for both discovery and solution-orientated research. The true significance of the University’s research will be judged according to its novelty, dissemination of outputs, and positive impact. We will continue to assure the security, compliance, and ethics of our research whilst improving processes to reduce research bureaucracy.


  1. Establish an Academic Charter to enable researchers to devote sufficient time to pursue scholarly research.
  2. Introduce an Annual Excellence in Scholarship programme.
  3. Prioritise the integrity of our research and associated data.

2. Championing the Research Student

Our postgraduate research students will be at the heart of our creativity. Through mentorship we will empower them to be independent thought leaders who are equipped to not only generate, but also translate theoretical and practical knowledge into useful application.


  1. Establish a new Research Student Charter.
  2. Individualise personal development plans for every student.
  3. Boost network opportunities and employability.

3. Diversity of People and Thought

We will embrace diversity in all its forms and challenge ourselves to become more inclusive. All those that contribute to research excellence will be recognised and rewarded. We will reinvigorate our research culture, focusing on protecting intellectual space, interdisciplinarity and nurturing innovation.


  1. Promote greater diversity and inclusion in our research community.
  2. Attract, retain, and develop research talent in the changing world of work.
  3. Foster an environment for intellectual discourse and the serendipitous collision of ideas.

4. Partnerships and Place

Cranfield will continue to lead the sector in our approach to working with business, government, and academia. As the university of choice, we will grow existing partnerships and build new strategic collaborations to maximise impact. We will cultivate interactions with local businesses and civic organisations to deepen our regional engagement and contribution to industrial growth. Our international relationships will be guided by excellence and best practices in trusted research.


  1. Create, advance, and sustain mutually beneficial strategic relationships with key industry partners.
  2. Boldly inform policy development and challenge established thinking.
  3. Increase access to our unique facilities from a wider range of partners.

5. Innovation and Entrepreneurs

Building on our heritage, we will grow pathways to support commercial routes for our expertise and research. We will encourage all our people to develop their innate entrepreneurial mindset and translate their ideas into practical application. We will engage our alumni as part of our wider entrepreneurial community. We will grow partnerships and investment for the joint development of our intellectual property.


  1. Better incentivise our people to exploit their research for impact.
  2. Provide entrepreneurship training and innovation opportunities for all our people and partners.
  3. Provide a fully integrated innovation support ecosystem, capitalising on our sector leading facilities and services.