The Triangular Alliance Partnership

The ARU School of Business has partnered with Allia and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) to form the Triangular Alliance.

Founded in May 2016, the Triangular Alliance pioneers innovative approaches to sustainable economic growth. Making a real impact on society, the Alliance unites local expertise and resources through enterprise, skills, research and new business models.

A shared agenda

ARU, Allia and GCGP LEP share an opportunity to lead with disruptive ideas and innovative research and projects that will address some of the biggest challenges facing society today.

By using an evidence-based approach, the Alliance bids for external funding for projects. These projects support intelligent, progressive decisions and policymaking that will be delivered both locally and nationally.

The three organisations that form the Alliance do so by using their strengths and networks:

  • Allia is a social profit society. They create space for social entrepreneurs and ventures and develop innovative funding to alternatively resource impactful projects.
  • GCGP LEP drives sustainable economic growth in the local area. Their focus is on local businesses, education providers, the third sector and the public sector.
  • The ARU Business School shares strategic insight and expertise to help implement innovative research.

Creating a stronger economy

We have a collective mission to work on common and challenging themes. This will help to achieve a sustainable local economy by 2020, as envisioned in the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Strategic Economic Plan.

Looking further ahead, we will achieve new outputs to improve economic, social and environmental conditions and encourage economic growth and sustainability.


We seek original and innovative solutions to three principal themes that are central to our activity. Through excellent research and practical actions, we get impactful results:

1. Local energy and homes for a smarter society

We confront the need for energy and water efficiency and we explore ultra-low carbon construction techniques and materials. We drive off-grid flexibility and security to support long-term independent living. These demands are complex and require networked actions from communities and professionals.

In November 2016, the Local Energy Summit at the Business School brought the Triangular Alliance together to discuss some successful initial steps. Central government awarded major funding to research local energy markets and opportunities. It has attracted a regional set of over 300 actors to date.

A series of follow-on bids and another Summit at the Business School will extend the Local Energy work into sustainable homes.

2. Ageing population and the Silver Economy*

To address the growing demands of the Silver Economy*, the Alliance develops knowledge previously conducted by Business School and other faculties on emerging dementia research.

Allia and GCGP LEP are both involved in the SEAS2Grow Interreg project, which explores the development of innovative products and services for the ageing population. Supporting sustainable smart, healthy and independent living, we work with ARU's Smart Living Accelerator and the MedTech campus to help SMEs to build relationships with the medical industry.

*the name given to the economic demand created by a growing demographic of older generations.

3. Sustainability actions, enterprise and entrepreneurship

We connect research on environmental sustainability, life sciences, and the social sciences to increase human productivity and wellbeing. These areas will become increasingly important with the emerging digital industrial revolution.

In June 2017, the Alliance won an international partnership bid called GrowIn 4.0. This three-year EU project will work with six northern European countries to face the digitalisation of the manufacturing industry. This will connect with our Digitalisation of Management project, conducted through the Centre for Research into the Organization of Work and Consumption (CROWC), and directly inform the manufacturing business model for locally-produced homes.

An international Alliance

We are not limiting ourselves to local impact, but are looking to expand internationally. We are creating a Triangular Alliance International to encourage a wider dissemination of our research and solutions to further apply to our shared issues. Funding bids are underway and we are keen to hear of possible interest – please contact Dr David Arkell ([email protected]) for further information.

Triangular Alliance team

  • Dr David Arkell (Director of Business Development, Business School, ARU)
  • Professor Simon Down (Deputy Dean Research and Enterprise, Business School, ARU)
  • Professor Chris Ivory (CROWC Director, Business School, ARU)
  • Dr Martin Clark (Deputy CEO, Allia)
  • Paul Bourgeois (Head of Sustainability, GCGP LEP)


For more information about the partnership, please contact:

Dr David Arkell
Director of Business Development
Email: [email protected]