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Over the last three years, Cambridge Enterprise has set about a focused programme of support for Cambridge’s humanities and social science research community, offering a new approach to making an impact through commercialisation and social enterprise. 

Supporting researchers in the humanities and social sciences to bring their innovative ideas to real-world fruition means embracing fresh thinking, critical rigour, sensitivity to cultural difference, and a deep-seated belief in the power of storytelling to bring about social change.

Take the work of Dr Saussan Khalil, whose novel method of phonics-based Arabic learning is already helping hundreds of children in the Arabic-speaking diaspora to increase their written literacy and sustain their cultural connections with contemporary Arabic writing and illustration.

Dr Khalil’s community-rooted approach is shared by the academic team behind Shaping Horizons, a new Cambridge social enterprise founded to bring innovation diplomacy and inclusive open research principles to bear on sustainability challenges in South America, co-founded by Dr Matias Acosta, researcher at the Centre for Latin American Studies. As researchers turn their attention to the challenges crystallised by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Cambridge Enterprise is proud to play our part in catalysing innovations like those of Dr Wesam al Asali, whose venture CERCAA reimagines heritage craft and artisanal building methods to bring intrinsic sustainability to contemporary construction projects. Together we can unlock the innovation potential of humanities and social science research to shape a better world.