The department of Science and Technology Policy Research – SPRU, at the University of Sussex, is a world-leading research centre, combining research and high-level policy advice with postgraduate teaching. Since its establishment in 1966, SPRU has been at the forefront of new ideas, interdisciplinary research and creative, high-impact engagement with decision makers in science, technology and innovation policy. Known and respected across the world, SPRU combines a rich track record of pioneering research with a sharp focus on some of the most pressing economic and policy questions of our age. Whether the challenge is to explain the links between innovation, finance and economic growth, to govern and regulate new technologies, to unpack the politics of scientific advice or to design pathways for the shift to a low-carbon economy, the solutions are likely to draw on work carried out at SPRU. With an extensive alumni network among senior science and technology policy makers around the world, SPRU plays a substantial role in the research funding and reputation for excellence at the University of Sussex. In a November 2011 editorial, Research Fortnight noted SPRU’s ‘well-deserved international reputation as a finishing school for the policy elite of Europe and the developing world’. The jointly SPRU-based STEPS Centre won the 2012 Ziman Prize of the European Association for the Social Study of Science. In January 2012, SPRU was named the top UK science and technology think-thank (and sixth in the world) by University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go-To Think Tank project.