Imperial College London

Professor David Gann CBE

Business School

Emeritus Professor of Innovation and Technology Management



d.gann Website




Ms Virginia Harris +44 (0)20 7594 5928




277Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





David Gann CBE CEng FICE FCGI is Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at Imperial College Business School. He is a university and business leader with extensive international experience in innovation strategy and technology management.

He has a PhD in Industrial Economics, is a Chartered Civil Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and Fellow of the City & Guilds Institute.

David was Vice-President (Innovation) at Imperial College from 2013 to 2019, playing a central role in developing the vision, strategy and innovation agenda for Imperial College's 25-acre White City Campus and the development of new ventures such as Imperial College ThinkSpace, increasing and diversifying the College's income.

He is Chair, UK Atomic Energy Authority, non-executive board member, Directa Plus plc the world’s largest producer of pristine graphene and member of the Department of Health & Social Care Tech Advisory Board. David mentors start-ups and advises boards on innovation and technology management, including Citigroup, Gammon, IBM, Huawei, HS2, McLaren, NEC and Tata Group. David was Chair of the Smart London Board (2012-2017), responsible for London’s digital strategy, reporting to Boris Johnson and later, Sadiq Khan. He developed Crossrail’s Innovation Strategy, and was Group Innovation Executive, Laing O’Rourke plc (2007-2011).

David was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to engineering, and received the 2014 Tjalling C. Koopmans Asset Award, for extraordinary contributions to the economic sciences. He was awarded the Imperial College Medal in 2019.


David's main research interest is innovation: he has written or edited eight books exploring why and how innovation happens, the ways it continually transforms the world we live in, and how it can be managed. He is a Professor in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department of Imperial College Business School.

David publishes on technology management and innovation strategy in journals such as Harvard Business Review, California Management Review and Sloan Management Review, and on systems engineering in Ingenia, ICE Proceedings and Project Management Journal.

He writes a blog with Mark Dodgson for the World Economic Forum  and is author and co-author of eight books, published in eight languages including Arabic, Chinese, English, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese and Spanish.

In 2015 he led a review of Imperial's Technology, Transfer, Translation and Collaboration activities, Pathways to Societal Impact.



Imperial's new WHITE CITY CAMPUS



Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Dahlander L, O'Mahony S, Gann DM, 2016, One foot in, one foot out: how does individuals' external search breadth affect innovation outcomes?, Strategic Management Journal, Vol:37, ISSN:0143-2095, Pages:280-302

DeBarro T, MacAulay S, Davies A, et al., 2015, Mantra to method: lessons from managing innovation on Crossrail, UK, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Civil Engineering, Vol:168, ISSN:0965-089X, Pages:171-178

Dodgson M, Gann D, MacAulay S, et al., 2015, Innovation strategy in new transportation systems: The case of Crossrail, Transportation Research Part A - Policy and Practice, Vol:77, ISSN:0965-8564, Pages:261-275

Thomas LDW, Autio E, Gann DM, 2014, Architectural leverage: putting platforms in context, The Academy of Management Perspectives, Vol:28, ISSN:1079-5545, Pages:198-219

Parmar R, Mackenzie I, Cohn D, et al., 2014, The new patterns of innovation, Harvard Business Review, Vol:92, ISSN:0017-8012, Pages:86-96

Dodgson M, Gann DM, Phillips N, 2013, Organizational Learning and the Technology of Foolishness: The Case of Virtual Worlds at IBM, Organization Science, Vol:24, ISSN:1047-7039, Pages:1358-1376

Gann D, Salter A, Dodgson M, et al., 2012, Inside the World of the Project Baron, Mit Sloan Management Review: Mit's Journal of Management Research and Ideas, Vol:53, Pages:63-71

Dahlander L, Gann D, 2010, How open is innovation?, Research Policy

More Publications