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University of Exeter Business School

Dr Pratheeba Vimalnath

Dr Pratheeba Vimalnath

Lecturer in Innovation, Intellectual Property and Sustainability

 Streatham Court 1.10


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Pratheeba Vimalnath joined the University of Exeter Business School in January 2023. Her research and teaching areas of interest include strategic innovation, technology and intellectual property (IP) management, with specialization in IP strategies and degrees of openness in IP sharing for collaborative (open) innovation, sustainability transitions, circular economy, and affordable medicines.

Prior to joining Exeter university, she worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge where she worked for the IPACST project researching the role of IP models for accelerating sustainability transitions. The IPACST project was funded by  Belmont Forum and NORFACE joint programme on Transformations to Sustainability (T2S). In Cambridge, she also served as a Wolfson College Research Associate, a Cambridge University Research Data Champion and an Interest Group Champion of Cambridge Global Challenges. Prior to joining Cambridge, she worked as an Oxford Martin Fellow at the University of Oxford to research on IP models for open drug discovery and development. She has published her work in various international journals and has experience working for projects funded under the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), British Council’s Going Global Partnership Program, European Commission, Horizon 2020, and NIAS(India)-United Nations Development Program (UNDP) policy research initiative. She has three years of industrial experience in telecommunication and banking domains including experience working in multi-national and start-up environments.


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Research interests

Strategic innovation and intellectual property (IP) management:

  • IP strategies and IP models for green innovation, circular economy, and sustainability transition
  • IP for open (collaborative) innovation
  • IP and asymmetric organizations (SME vs large entity, new entrant vs incumbent, university vs industry etc.)

Research projects

  • Intellectual Property for Sustainability, British Council Going Global Partnerships Grant. Role: Major contributor to collaborative proposal writing, and project execution as data collection and IP specialist. 2022-2023.
  • POINT: Project on Open Innovation and Intellectual Property, commissioned by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), European Commission, (EASME/2019/OP/OO17). Role: Major contributor to collaborative proposal writing, and project execution as data collection and IP specialist. 2020-2021.
  • IPACST: ‘Intellectual Property Models for Accelerating Sustainability Transitions’, Belmont Forum and Norface: UK funding by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Role: Contributor to proposal writing and UK team lead researcher. 2018-2022.
  • Intellectual Property in emerging open innovation models for drug discovery and development, Oxford Martine Programme on Affordable medicines, University of Oxford, UK. Role: Researcher – IP scientist. 2018. 
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Policy Research Initiative on Inequality and Human Development, Collaborators: National Institute of Advance Studies (NIAS) and Tata Consultancy Services, India. Role: Researcher. 2017-2018.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

  • IfM Post-doctoral award 2022, Special commendation for overall performance in research, teaching and academic citizenship, University of Cambridge, UK, 2022.
  • Poster award finalist, Global Research & Innovation in Plastics Sustainability (GRIPS) 2021, organised and run by KTN, supported by UKRI, and hosted by UK Circular Plastics Network, UK.
  • Contributor to the SADC academia-industry knowledge exchange programme that won the UKRI Praxis Auril Team of the Year 2020 Award, 2020.
  • Oxford Martin School fellowship for post-doctoral research, University of Oxford, 2018-2019.
  • Prof. K.N. Krishnaswamy Gold Medal, for the best M.Sc. (Engg.) thesis, Indian Institute of Science, India, 2012-2013.
  • Microsoft Grant, for paper presentation, at the Portland International Conference of Management of Engineering and Technology, (PICMET), Bangkok, July, 2010. Paper presented: A Study on the Success Potential of Multiple Mobile Payment Technologies.
  • M.Sc. Eng. (by research) scholarship, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, August 2009 – December 2011.
  • Ph.D. scholarship, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, January 2012 – June 2016.
  • Research Associateship, Indian Institute of Science, India, July 2016 to May 2017.
  • Certificate of Customer appreciation for successful Rollout of ‘Channel Partner Portal’ in TCS, 2008

External positions

  • Collaborator, Innovation and Intellectual Property Management Lab, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Licensing Executive Society (LES) innovation trends committee member on traditional knowledge, manufacturing, and transferable IP.

Invited lectures & workshops

  • Invited panellist, “Challenges in the Valuation and Licensing of Traditional Knowledge”.  Licensing Executive Society International - Young Members Congress (LESI-YMS), ASIA-PACIFIC, Nov 2022, Phillipines.
  • Invited talk on ‘IP strategies for green innovations’, Virtual talk, OECD and Polish Patent Office, 2022 Conference on IP Statistics for Decision Makers (IPSDM), 14-15 June 2022, Poland.
  • Invited lecture on ‘Text analysis: Qualitative content analysis’, DULT workshop, Government of Karnataka, India, prepared materials and delivered the session, May 2022.
  • Invited talk on ‘IP for society and sustainable development’, Virtual talk, International Workshop On Intellectual Property Rights for Society & Youth, Organised by DPIIT IPR Chair, WBNUJS, India. Celebration of World IP Day 2022. 2022, 26th April 2022.
  • Invited talk on ‘Intellectual Property Strategies and Sustainability Transition: Role of University-Industry Technology Transfer’, International Webinar on Industry-Academia Innovation, organised by Govt. Mahaveer college Petlawad Jhabua Madhya Pradesh – India, on 19 Jan 2021.
  • Invited IP expert contribution, Cambridge MAKEit Fruit & Veg MAKEathon, MAKE-it! project co-funded by Cambridge University and EIT Food, Cambridge, July 2020.
  • Invited Keynote on ‘Intellectual Property models for sustainability transitions’, UAS Spring campus, Berlin, April 2019.


  • Member of Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI), Intellectual Property Council, Karnataka, India. 

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BEMM118 - Strategic Innovation Management



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