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and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
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Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.

Introducing The Productivity Lab

Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés is leading the Productivity Lab.

This week we are launching The Productivity Lab, which will act as a portal to The Productivity Institute’s (TPI) data content, visualisations, and insights.

The Lab is TPI’s data science centre for excellence, the “engine room” for data-related activities. It is a scientific platform for collecting, disseminating, producing productivity data, and experimenting with different analytical methods and tools rooted in econometrics and data science.

The Productivity Lab’s goals

The main goal is to disseminate The Productivity Institute’s empirical research and research data, with a particular focus on the UK. The Lab allows TPI researchers to disseminate empirical research with special emphasis on data-related issues. It also aims also to create a Productivity Data hub with links to valuable research data sources on productivity and productivity drivers, providing an overview covering aspects of the datasets such as their geographical coverage or their accessibility.

Additionally, the Lab also creates insights for a broad audience including academics, general researchers, policymakers, business strategists, and the wider public. We have already started some national and international partnerships and collaborations, with the aim to be able to set new avenues of research in data-related topics and explore synergies and complementarities. Among them are ESCoE, ONS, The Conference Board, EUKLEMS-Intanprod-LUISS, CompNet, OECD, Groningen Growth and Development Centre.

Current activities

In order to achieve all these goals, there is a new section on the TPI website and created a formal online research repository, and data and coding sharing secure space in Figshare with the support of The University of Manchester Library.

We have already started our research programme by working on a series of blog articles such as the piece on the TPI UK Intangibles Growth Accounting dataset, illustrating datasets from other institutes such as the Total Economy Database, or featuring data releases such as the Lab’s blog on ONS sub-national productivity data.

As a data-related Lab, we are also creating harmonised productivity metrics to bring evidence researchers and stakeholders such as to our Regional Productivity Forums through the TPI UK TL1 level Productivity Scorecards series.

Advice and support will be provided by the recently constituted TPI Lab Expert Group. Chaired by Professor Rebecca Riley (King’s College London), the Lab’s Expert Group will provide advice and help identify critical topics for data releases and supporting data initiatives. The group is composed by international academics, practitioners and members of data-related institutions such as ONS, OECD, CompNet, Groningen Growth and Development Centre or ESRC-UKRI.

Lab’s next steps

Our upcoming work will be focused on continuing to develop and improve the current activities as well as introducing a series of new initiatives including the organisation of productivity data and metrics-related workshops and tools.

The Lab also plans to start a visiting and secondment programme, where members from academic and non-academic institutions would be able to spend time at the lab working on data-related projects. It will also continue to support the dissemination of productivity-related datasets and data tools and other types of data collaborations such as, for example, policy tools or business tools.
This graphic describes the three phases of the Lab. The Inception phase (website, expert group, programme of activities) followed by the Development phase (dashboards, data-related workshops, data and coding repository and exploration of pilot productivity datasets) and the Consolidation phase (productivity data and metrics reports, visiting and secondment programmes and an international network of data labs).

If you are interested in productivity data and methods and would like to take part in our activities or collaborate with us, please contact us by emailing TPI@manchester.ac.uk and sign up for our Data newsletter.