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David Smith

David Smith


Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Management Technology Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Research Group)


David is a Professor of Innovation Management. An economist by background, he undertakes teaching and research in a variety of aspects of innovation.

He is the author of ‘Exploring Innovation’, the best selling textbook published by McGraw-Hill and now in its third edition and his work has been published in many journals in the Innovation field including: R & D Management, Technovation, Prometheus, International Journal of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, European Journal of Innovation Management and Technology Analysis and Strategic Management.

David has extensive experience of research administration. He currently heads the Entrepreneurship and Innovation research group and is a member of the Research Strategy Group and the College Research Committee.

He is also closely involved in supervising research degrees. An experienced PhD supervisor, he has supervised almost 30 doctoral students to successful completion and is currently involved in supervising five PhD students. He has examined more than 20 PhDs both internally at NTU and as an external examiner at other universities in the UK and in Malaysia and Spain.

Career overview

Having worked for Courtaulds Plc David’s academic career began in 1974. He worked at the University of Derby for many years as Senior Lecturer and Head of the Management division, before joining the University of Northampton as Reader in Strategic Management. In 2001 he joined Nottingham Trent University as Professor and Research Directror in Nottingham Business School.

As well as teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students at NBS he has been actively involved in corporate education providing training programmes both in Britain and thoughout Europe. Among the companies for whom he has delivered training are: Experian, Goodrich Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, British Steel and the European Space Agency. He is currently involved in providing training for the Danish shoe manufacturer, ECCO.

Research areas

Having been research active for in excess of 40 years, David’s current research interests include:

  • green innovation,
  • artisanal knowledge,
  • global production networks,
  • adaptive capability,
  • regional innovation systems,
  • technical entrepreneurship.

Please visit the NTU Doctoral School website for information on doctoral research opportunities at NBS.

External activity

  • Member of the British Academy of Management's Innovation Special Interest Group.
  • Member of the ESRC’s Peer Review College
  • Formerly director of East Midlands Regional Management Centre Ltd.
  • Reviewer of research grant applications for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
  • Reviewer for Sage Publications, McGraw-Hill and Routledge and a range of academic journals including: Management Learning, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, European Planning Studies, Computers in Education and Environment and Planning C, International Journal of Public Sector Management and Personnel Review.
  • Visiting Professor at the faculty of Management and Human Resource Development at the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Jahor Bahru, Malaysia and the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
  • Member of organising committee for the 12th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, due to be held in Paris, France on 21-22 September 2017.

Sponsors and collaborators

David has held research contracts with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service, The British Academy, The Leverhulme Trust, the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He has also held a Tempus grant for a joint project on the Finance of International Trade with Warsaw School of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, and the University of Tilburg.

He has been Lead Academic on no less than five DTI sponsored Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) undertaken with local companies, as well as two ESRC CASE PhD studentships including one undertaken in association with BioCity, one of the UK’s largest biotechnology incubators, located close to the centre of Nottingham. He has recently organised a series of six research seminars sponsored by the ESRC on the theme of Green Innovation.

Press expertise

David’s media expertise extends to interviews on the economics of the Aerospace industry for the BBC, ITV and local radio.