Personal profile

Research interests

My research embraces an inter-disciplinary approach with a strong research interest in the interplay between economic governance, innovation, regional development and place-based industrial strategy. 

I have a long-standing interest in exploring the nature of relationships between firms and public and private 'anchor institutions' (such as universities or OEMs) within regional clusters (and/or ‘industrial districts’), regional innovation eco-systems and more broadly within inter-firm and industry networks, which tend to have a wider geographical scope. I am especially interested in how place-based industrial strategies (such as Smart Specialisation) can be utlised to foster economic resilience and more balanced and inclusive growth at the regional level.  These issues are at the forefront of contemporary European economic policy debates, and in which I have made a significant contribution to the business economics, management, policy and social science literature, with over 100 articles published in leading academic journals, books, book chapters, consultancy reports and media articles. My Google Scholar profile can be viewed here

In the School of Management, I am the Co-Director of the Centre for Governance, Regulation & Industrial Strategy (CGR&IS) and I also work closely with the University's Institute for Policy Research (IPR).  I am a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and also of the Regional Studies Association, and since 2021, I have been the Policy Debates Editor at Regional Studies. My research been received by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Department for Transport, NESTA, Innovate UK, The TUC, Industry Trade Associations and other business and regional organisations. I have also addressed the All Parliamentary Manufacturing Group of MPs on industrial/innovation policy and given other presentations at the UK Houses of Parliament. I have also been an invited chair and speaker at the EU Commission (Joint Research Council) Smarter Conference on Smart Specialisation and Territorial Development in Seville, and at the EU's European Week of Regions and Cities. 

My work has previously been funded (among others) by the EPSRC, the ESRC, the European Union and the Regional Studies Association. I have also undertaken several consultancy projects in relation to regional development for LEPS and local government. I have previously sat on SWLEP's Industrial Strategy Advisory Panel, and I am a current member of WECA's Skills Advisory Panel. 

Willing to supervise doctoral students

I welcome enquiries from potential PhD students who are interested in issues with regard to regional economic development, economic governance, and place-based industrial strategy (such as Smart Specialisation).

I am particularly interested in proposals that aim to uncover new insights in these areas through empirical investigation (either via qualitative and/or quantitative approaches) and possibly through studies which are international in scope, and which aim to provide lessons for both industrial and public policy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy

1 Oct 201531 Jan 2016

Award Date: 2 Mar 2016

Economics, Doctor of Philosophy, 'The Nature of the Japanese Transnational and the Real Effects of Transnational Activity upon Japan's Machinery Industries', University of Warwick

1 Oct 199730 Sept 2001

Award Date: 16 Jan 2002

Economics, Master in Science, University of Warwick

1 Oct 199530 Sept 1996

Award Date: 31 Jan 1997

Business and Financial Economics, Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours, Staffordshire University

27 Sept 199230 Jun 1995

Award Date: 4 Jul 1995

A Levels , Economics (A), British Government & Politics (A), Maths & Statistics (B) & General Studies (E) , Joint Matriculation Board (Northern Universities)

1 Sept 198530 Jun 1987

Award Date: 13 Aug 1987

External positions

Fellow, Academy of Social Sciences

1 Mar 2023 → …

External Examiner MSc Urban and Regional Development , Cardiff University

1 Oct 2021 → …

Editor (Policy Debates), Regional Studies Journal

27 Jan 2021 → …

Member of Scientific Board , L'Industria

5 Jan 2021 → …

Super External Examiner, University of South Wales

1 Jun 20201 Feb 2023

Editor, RSA Policy Impact Book Series, Regional Studies Association

1 Dec 20198 Feb 2021

Member of Skills Advisory Panel, West of England Combined Authority

1 Dec 2019 → …

Member , Manufacturing Commission of All Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG)

6 Feb 2019 → …

Advisory Board , 3S Recipe - Smart Shrinkage Solutions (Funded by JPI Urban Europe)

15 Nov 201831 Mar 2020

Visiting Professor, Birmingham City University

1 Jun 2018 → …

Fellow, Regional Studies Association

1 Mar 2018 → …

Editor, Competition and Change

1 Jun 2016 → …


  • Industrial strategy
  • Regional development
  • Governance
  • Smart Specialisation
  • Innovation Networks
  • Small and Medium Sized Firms


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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