Imperial College London

David Gann and Mark Dodgson celebrate 30 years of collaborative innovation


David Gann and Mark Dodgson

Innovation, the process of turning new ideas into practical value for society, has been long misunderstood.

But global institutions, businesses and government are starting to recognise the importance of innovation to long-term productivity and economic growth.

Much of this understanding comes from a thirty-year partnership between two British and Australian academics.

A collaboration between Professor David Gann, Vice President (Innovation) and University of Queensland’s Professor Mark Dodgson, has helped define and shape current thinking on innovation.

Professor Gann and Professor DodgosnSince meeting at university in the 1980s they have become world-leading experts in innovation and have published many journals and books together.

They have built strong ties between each other’s universities as Professor Gann is an honorary professor at University of Queensland and Professor Dodgson is a visiting professor at Imperial.

Writing in a blog for the World Economic Forum, Professor Gann said: “We know that innovation drives prosperity and wellbeing.

"It is the key ingredient for sustainable business success, which is why government policymakers and smart business leaders obsess over its cultivation.”

Professor GannDuring a recent visit to Australia, Professor Gann, spoke of the importance of international collaboration. He said universities need to collaborate like never before to build the multidisciplinary capability to tackle research grand challenges. 

Imperial recently launched an innovation hub at its new White City campus to support the commercialisation and translation of research and innovation for the benefit of society.

Core subject 

Professor DodgsonProfessor Dodgson, Professor of Innovation Studies at University of Queensland Business School, said: “When we started, no-one really knew what innovation was.

"It’s now a core subject for business schools, and a key concern for companies and governments alike. In those days, people assumed that the more you invested in research and development, the more innovation you would get.

"However, we now know it is much more complex and companies can face all sorts of organisational and market challenges.”

World Economic Forum blogs

Most recently they have co-authored a series of blogs for the World Economic Forum on the future of universities and innovation:

Universities need philanthropy but must resist hidden agendas

The tech industry needs more women. Here's how to make it happen

Artificial intelligence will transform universities. Here’s how

Busting the myth of the start-up

Reach for the stars. The advice that failed a generation?

There will be much less work in the future. We need to rethink our societies

Don’t despair. You can’t build a wall against ideas and progress

Forget the start-up garage myth. We need golden triangles and super clusters


Photographs provided by University of Queensland 


Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns
Communications and Public Affairs

Click to expand or contract

Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 9531

Show all stories by this author


Australasia, International, Imperial-Innovations, Strategy-collaboration
See more tags

Leave a comment

Your comment may be published, displaying your name as you provide it, unless you request otherwise. Your contact details will never be published.