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01522 83 5012
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool
United Kingdom

About David Charles

David Charles is Director of Research, Deputy Head of College and professor of innovation and strategic management in Lincoln International Business School.  David started his career as an economic geographer with an interest in the location of R&D and innovative activities, and was for many years a researcher in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies at Newcastle University, before taking up the David Goldman Chair of Business Innovation in the Business School there. In Newcastle University Business School he was director of research and alternate head of school for three years then director of a faculty research institute for policy and practice. He also established a new research centre on Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise (KITE).  He moved from Newcastle to Curtin University in Perth, Australia where he was dean of research in the Business faculty before moving to Strathclyde where he was professor of regional economic development and policy at the European Policies Research Centre. In recent years David’s research has focused primarily on regional aspects of innovation and innovation policy, and on the regional and community role of universities. David has been involved in studies on regional innovation policy for the European Commission, OECD and national regional bodies, since 1986. Much of this work has focused on the role of innovation in Less Favoured Regions, most recently as part of a large evaluation of the European Regional Development Fund over 20 years in 15 regions. A related interest has been in innovation management in mainly smaller firms, with recent work on open innovation in Scottish SMEs. David has also undertaken a variety of studies of universities regional impact and engagement for individual universities, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, OECD, and other UK government bodies. He developed a suite of metrics and indicators used annually now by the UK to measure the engagement of universities with business and the community. David has also led ESRC and EU framework Programme projects across all of these research themes.

Department Responsibilities

David is Director of Research and a deputy head of college.

Subject Specialism

Innovation management and policy


  • PhD — Newcastle University, 1992
  • BA geography — Newcastle University, 1982


  • Visiting professor — Anglia Ruskin University,
  • Adjunct professor — Curtin University,
  • Visiting professor — Tampere University, Finland,
  • Visiting professor — Newcastle University,
  • Visiting professor — RMIT University, Melbourne,
  • Fellow — Academy of Social Science,


Consultancy studies over the past 25 years for the OECD, European Commission, UK government departments (DTI, DETR, OST), HEFCE, Universities UK, regional development agencies, Newcastle City Council, Leeds City Council, Core Cities Group and others. Research grant evaluation and review for ESRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, European Commission FP5 and FP7, and Dutch and Irish research organisations.

Orcid ID


Research Interests

  • innovation management

  • innovation policy

  • regional development

  • universities and engagement

  • urban policies

Research Groups Memberships

  • Responsible Management Research Group
  • Regional and Rural Research Group

Research Projects

  • The Role of Universities in Regional Innovation — Horizon 2020 Marie Curie ITN in 2016
  • BioSTEP: Promoting Stakeholder Engagement and Public Awareness for a Participative Governance of the European Bioeconomy — Horizon 2020 in 2015
  • The Role of Cities in Cohesion Policy — European Parliament in 2013
  • Evaluation of the main achievements of Cohesion Policy programmes and projects over the longer term in 15 selected regions — European Commission DG Regio in 2011
  • The regional role of Higher Education in the Basque Country — OECD in 2011
  • The regional role of Higher Education in Victoria — OECD in 2009
  • Practical benefits of innovation-related policy instruments’ — OECD in 2009
  • Contribution of policies at the regional level to the realisation of the European Research Area’ — European Commission ERAWATCH in 2009
  • Ex post evaluation of cohesion policy programmes 2000-2006. Work package on structural change and globalisation – UK case studies’ — European Commission in 2008
  • Exploiting the potential of the subsea energy cluster in the North East of England: promoting collaborative working to address the skills and recruitment gap — ESRC Business Engagement Scheme in 2008
  • The role of collective leadership in regional innovation strategies’ — NESTA in 2007
  • NESTA Fellowship on science cities’ — NESTA in 2007
  • Universities and community engagement: learning with excluded communities’ — ESRC in 2007
  • City regions in the East Midlands — EMDA in 2005
  • Review of territorial development policies in Crete’ — OECD in 2005
  • The intercultural city: case study of Newcastle — Comedia, Newcastle City Council and One NorthEast in 2005
  • What are the implications of an emerging regional policy for HE in England? — Universities UK in 2005
  • Building Science Regions in the European Research Area: Governance in the Territorial Agora’ — ESRC in 2004
  • R&D and Innovation Strategy for the North East’ — North East Assembly in 2003
  • Territorial Review of Newcastle — Newcastle City Council for OECD in 2003
  • Newcastle Core City — Newcastle City Council in 2003
  • City regions as Intelligent Territories: Inclusion, Competitiveness and Learning’ — EU FP5 in 2003
  • The Evaluation of the RITTS programme’ — European Commission in 1999
  • Space, Place and the Virtual University’ — ESRC Virtual Society? Initiative in 1998
  • Universities and Regional Development (UNIREG) — FP4 in 1998
  • University Spin Offs, SMEs and the Science Base: the Effective Use of Intellectual Property — ESRC, Intellectual Property Initiative in 1995
  • Regional Science and Technology Policies in Europe’ — European Commkission in 1995
  • Comparative Study of Science Parks: Issues for a Community Innovation Policy — European Commission SPRINT programme in 1994
  • European Network on Innovation, Industry and Territory — European Commission FP3 in 1994
  • Factors Governing the Operating Efficiency of Regional Technology Advisory Centres — European Commission SPRINT programme in 1994
  • The Evaluation of the STRIDE, TELEMATIQUE and PRISMA Community Initiatives — European Commission DG Regio in 1994
  • The Social and Economic Impact of Electronic Data Interchange: Regional Policy Issues — European Commission TEDIS programme in 1993
  • The Effects of International Collaboration on UK HEI- Industry Relations — ESRC/SPSG Initiative on the European Context to UK Science Policy in 1993
  • The Role of Universities in their Local Communities — Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals in 1993
  • Regionalisation of Research and Technological Development Indicators — Eurostat in 1992
  • Transport and Communications: Industrial Dynamics’ — ESRC Programme on ICT in 1992
  • Research and Technological Development Indicators in the UK — European Commission in 1991
  • Design and Engineering Consultancy Services in Tyne and Wear — Newcastle City Council and Tyne and Wear Development Corporation in 1990
  • The Role of Information in the Location and Organisation of R & D Networks’ — ESRC in 1990
  • Technological Information and the Restructuring of Functional and Spatial Relationships within Manufacturing Firms — ESRC Programme on ICT in 1990
  • A Study of HEI/Research Centre/Industry Interfaces Including Relevant Mechanisms — European Commission in 1988

Research in the Lincoln Repository

Professional Affiliations

  • British Academy of Management — Member
  • Regional Studies Association — Fellow
  • Academy of Social Sciences — Fellow