Answers for Organizations

What is the Briiij Innovative Workspace “Sandpit” for Business, Government, and NGO users?


The Briiij Sandpit is “a customized, agile workspace with academics.” It allows you quick interactions with a dedicated group of academics in a specialist area, in order to develop ideas, solutions, and innovation.

[Sandpit: “A shallow box or hollow in the ground, partly filled with sand for children to play in.” (Oxford Dictionaries, en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sandpit , retrieved 3/12/18)]

Get quick answers to your scientific questions or innovate via detailed and enriching discussions with a variety of academics.

– Quick responses to scientific questions
– Input from a variety of academics
– Access to the latest thinking worldwide

Academics can also be asked to
– Report on the latest research
– Participate in R&D teams
– Lead R&D teams
– Form a specialized R&D team of academics

How does it work?

1. Briiij can set up a Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace secure platform for each of the specialist scientific or other areas your team is working in. Or, if your organization already has an interactive platform, you can invite the academics to join that platform.
2. The Briiij team will source academics from top universities who are reactive, engaged, and well-connected.
3. Meet the academics and establish who will be in the innovative workspace with your team to answer questions and develop ideas.
4. Launch the Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace: post questions as they arise to academics and develop discussions toward new ideas, solutions, and innovation.

Will I get fast answers to my questions?

Yes, the Briiij team will liaise with the academic team to make sure that they are motivated and able to be highly reactive to your questions, ongoing discussions, and requests. A condition for an academic’s taking part in the team is that they react quickly to your postings. Should you wish for a more detailed response, you can request it.

Why use a Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace rather than ask a company to find you one academic?

– Fast responses to your questions and issues: with Briiij you get very rapid responses from a variety of academics who are experts in the areas you are working in.
– The handpicked academics in your Sandpit Innovative Workspace will be the best qualified to find you other academics who might be breaking ground in an area and introduce you to them.
– Why not benefit from a multiplicity of informed perspectives rather than just one? Through talking to a variety of well-informed researchers in your field of interest, you will make the best decisions possible and develop the ideas with the best potential.
– Through well-informed and collaborative discussion, your team and the academics will draw out each other’s ideas to their maximum degree and increase the possibility of generating ideas that you had not yet thought of, leading to innovation.

What do the three i’s in Briiij stand for?

Briiij – Interaction, Insight, and Innovation
Interaction, Insight, and Innovation describe important aspects of the process of developing a promising idea into a valuable solution.
Interaction describes how, through vibrant discussion in the Briiij Sandpit Innovation Workspace over time, the ideas from the development team and the academic team are interrogated, refined, and built upon, underpinned by sound theoretical and methodological assumptions.
There are moments of clarity – insights – when the benefits of these ideas to the project become clear. They will be tested, adjusted, and their value reassessed.
In time, they may contribute to a valuable new method or product, an innovation.

What does it mean to have a PhD?

Academics with a PhD have typically completed 10 years of formal education and many other years of researching, writing, and teaching, which often demands complex time management, teamwork, interpersonal, intellectual, and management skills.

Why build a Briiij Sandpit Innovation Workspace with PhD-qualified academics vs hiring a consulting company?

An academic is more likely to understand your needs as they relate to his or her academic area of expertise, why they have arisen, and which solutions might need to be developed.

Let’s take the fundamental question, “How do I know what I need to know?” If you go to a consulting company, you might get their latest “fix”, a package or a template that will be profitable for them to implement and evaluate in your company. The consultant might not be able to articulate why the assumptions underpinning the approach should be aligned with your needs. “You need this, it has worked with others,” is not an emergent solution that fits your specific needs.
If, on the other hand, the consultant agrees to work with you to find out what you need to know in order to address the complexities of your issue only, without grasping for a fix that worked with another, this might not in fact be achievable. This approach takes personal qualities and skills that the consultant might not have. In order to work with someone to find out what they need to know to reach their goal, an advisor needs to believe that this is possible, which means that they need to be confident in their abilities as a researcher, reader, and synthesizer of information. They need to be able to persist until they find what they are looking for. They need to be open to a variety of perspectives. They need to be able to differentiate self-interest from academic argument. They need to be able to recognize a valid argument through an appreciation of its logical development and consistency and the quality of its sources of information. They need to be able to synthesize various perspectives in order to identify a valid understanding or approach. They need to be aware of their main influences and whether there is a cost involved in either following or contradicting these influences. They need to be able to socially-validate their perspectives through dialogue with other experts in the field: in this way, to extend their thinking beyond what they ever thought was possible. They need to be able to apply this learning in a practical, profitable, and even transformative way, that leads to present and future benefits for your organization and its people.

Consultancies provide currently fashionable advice that articulates with their own profit strategy; Academics provide expert advice that emerges from your specific context and is completely aligned with your strategic needs.

Why ask an academic from the Briiij Sandpit Innovation Workspace to work with one of your teams?

An academic can “seed” for innovation. Bringing in an Academic from Briiij to join one of your teams means that you will bring in an experienced researcher, teacher, and thinker, with an open and inquiring mind, who will investigate your specific context and work with you to reach your objectives. The Academic will be like a “seed”, who will contribute to the solid grounding and growth of your ideas: a catalyst for innovation.

How can we have the most innovative team?

Knowledge is generated through negotiating and renegotiating concepts to identify what is needed when faced with a challenge. A multiplicity of well-informed perspectives enriches this process and ensures the best-wrought solutions are realized. The Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace creates the potential for a rich innovative process based on well-informed perspectives from both the research team and the academic team.

What is the importance of talk, interaction, and social validation in constructing useful knowledge?

We talk every day to negotiate and clarify the concepts we are thinking of, such as what constitutes a “successful outcome”, or a “controlled experiment”, or “objectivity”. Through talk, we can enrich our discussions of the way things are, harnessing the social context to think critically about our assumptions and how we are constructing possible solutions to our challenges.
The quality of this interaction with others in the knowledge-generation process is important, as it is through the social validation of our ideas that we arrive at knowledge we trust to be well-grounded and useful: that we can call innovation.
We are offering the Briiij Sandpit Innovation Workspace to make connections possible between the development team and highly-qualified individuals who could enrich their thoughts: to make useful knowledge, and, if needed, innovation.

How to move from brainstorming to innovation?

Brainstorming is just the beginning of useful idea generation. Noting down the first thing that comes into our heads can provide some pertinent points for development, but these notions need to be explored for their potential value.
The best ideas need to be supported by sound sources of information and extended and validated through the constructive criticism of colleagues.
Discussions with academics in the Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace can make sure that the highest quality of information informs the idea-development process. Academics have access to the latest information in journals, reports, and books, have travelled to conferences, and are trained in asking the right questions to develop the scope of thinking, to transform an idea into a useful innovation.


Generate sound ideas based on scientific research: Research – Reporting back – Extension  

  1. Generate a question, such as, “How can we improve productivity in our textile factories?”
  2. Time out (a day, a week) so that your team can research an answer to the question using knowledge resources
  3. Round table, Strength, Insight, and Strategy (SIS) session:
    1. Groups of 4, including the Academic Advisor from Briiij
    2. Person 1 gives his/her opinion on the question
    3. Persons 2,3,4 interrogate him/her constructively for 5 minutes, getting him/her to think critically about his/her opinion and pushing him/her to extend the boundaries of his/her thinking
    4. Note taking for 1 minute
  4. Repeat for Person 2, etc.
  5. Repeat 1-4 to respond to the next logical question.

What can I ask an Academic to do?

You can ask an Academic to do the following:
– Be reactive when you ask a question on the Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace
– Provide a more substantial response to the question, supported by research
– Identify problems that you might not have seen
– Work with another team or teams within your organization to solve a problem
– Recommend more effective and efficient methods
– Provide a fresh, well-informed viewpoint
– Teach relevant new knowledge and skills
– Suggest new ideas to invigorate the organization
– Suggest academic colleagues worldwide who could complement his/her work in your organization

How much does it cost?

1. Briiij will charge a sourcing fee to find academics in a specific field to answer questions quickly and develop ideas with you in the Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace.
2. Briiij will also charge a maintenance fee to ensure that academics are meeting your expectations.
3. The Client and the Academic will negotiate a service fee.

How much should I expect to pay an Academic?

Academics typically have at least 10 years’ full-time university study, as well as post-doctoral research and publishing experience. Academics can charge a fee or work pro bono. We advise them that if they do charge for their services, to charge in 6-minute intervals for discussion, meeting, and laboratory participation, etc.. Academics will tell you what their rates are before they are selected to take part in discussions in the Briiij Sandpit Innovative Workspace.

In setting their fees, we advise academics to take the following into consideration:
– The complexity of the work to be done
– The duration of the work to be done
– The rarity of the specialization that they can offer
– Their experience in the field
– Their academic position
– Their publication record
– Their university’s ranking
– Their educational experience
– Their experience working with clients outside of their research institution

Answers for Academics

What is Briiij – in a nutshell – for Academics / Researchers / PhD students?

Briiij can bring value to both Academics and organizations via a platform that allows spontaneous discussion and sharing of information. This agile, spontaneous discussion possibility, involving a variety of perspectives on an issue, is a first in the area of university – private/public sector connectivity, and an approach we think will enrich the knowledge-generation process on all sides. The platform will contain a “bench” of academics in each area of inquiry relevant to the organization’s research and development. The organization will use the platform to support numerous discussions as they develop their projects, which will lead to research opportunities and work for university faculties and their academics. This context, called the Briiij Innovative Workspace Sandpit, is a vibrant online discussion area in which academics and their department can also showcase – via posting or webinar – publications and initiatives that might be of interest to the organization, as well as suggest other academics and work that might be of value.

With Briiij you can do the following:
– work with Businesses, Governments, and NGOs from around the world;
– contribute to well-founded innovation;
– focus on specific issues that will decide our future.

How does Briiij work for Academics?

1. Briiij invites you to consider joining a group of Academics that participates in discussions with, and provides ongoing advice to, an organization’s development team;
2. Meet the organization and be confirmed as a member of the Academic group;
3. Respond to the organization’s questions, participate in discussions, and be remunerated for time spent.

What might an organization ask an Academic to do?

An organization might ask an Academic to do the following:
– Be reactive when you ask a question on the Briiij Innovative Workspace Sandpit;
– Provide a more substantial response to the question, supported by research;
– Identify problems that you might not have seen;
– Work with another team or teams within the organization to solve a problem;
– Recommend more effective and efficient methods;
– Provide a fresh, well-informed viewpoint;
– Teach relevant new knowledge and skills;
– Suggest new ideas to invigorate the organization;
– Suggest academic colleagues worldwide who could complement his/her work in the organization.

How much should a member of an Academic group charge?

As a member of an Academic group, you can charge a fee or work pro bono. If you charge a fee, there is no limit. We suggest that you charge the organization at a rate that you think to be fair, considering both your experience and the work you are doing.
You might like to take the following into consideration:
– The complexity of the work to be done;
– The duration of the work to be done;
– The rarity of the specialization that you can offer;
– Your experience in the field;
– Your academic position;
– Your publication record;
– Your university’s ranking;
– Your educational experience;
– Your experience working with organizations outside of your research institution.

How can we at Briiij support you?

We would like your experience with Briiij to be exemplary; we offer you our support and will carefully consider your feedback.
Our work consists both of sourcing organizations for you to work with, and organizing this experience so that you and the organization maintain a good working relationship.
Here is what we offer academics currently; please let us know what more we can do:
1. We source, and offer you the possibility to work with, an organization which would like the highest quality advice from a thoughtful, experienced, and highly-qualified expert, or group of experts;
2. We help you to establish your fee with the organization;
3. We discuss with you any feedback from the organization that concerns you;
4. We can mediate if you have any issues during your work with an organization;
5. We can help you to customize methodologies for working with people, such as leading innovation programs;
6. Anything else? Let us know how we can support you.

Can I be a physicist and a member of an Academic group at the same time?

As a scientist and Academic, the Briiij Innovative Workspace Sandpit offers you an opportunity to respond to organizations who need your expertise to develop their initiatives, and to see what the points of focus are beyond academia.