David Gann's main research interest is innovation: exploring why and how innovation happens, the ways it continually transforms the world we live in, and how it can be managed. His research also focuses on innovation in the digital economy, including smart cities, and new business models.
As the founding Head of the Imperial College Business School's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department, David built a portfolio of research in collaboration with large and small firms, including including IBM, Microsoft, Nokia, Citigroup, Finmeccanica, Arup and BP. The Group is consistently ranked in the top tier worldwide by the FT, and under David's leadership from 2003 to 2013, has been awarded over £65million in research funding. During this time, David co-founded multi-disciplinary initiatives such as: the Digital Economy Lab, a cross-faculty portal, connecting activities in the Digital Economy space across Imperial, which David leads; Digital City Exchange, a cross-faculty 5-year smart cities project at Imperial, funded by Research Councils UK; and Design London, a centre for design-led innovation and collaboration between Imperial and the Royal College of Art.
From 2003 to 2013, David directed the Innovation Studies Centre (ISC) - a ten-year EPSRC-funded programme conducting multi-disciplinary research on the innovation process in the science and engineering industries, from knowledge creation to commercialisation. The ISC final report showcases the major impact the programme has had on policy and practice.
David leads the Imperial College Business School's executive programmes on innovation for business leaders at IBM, Laing O'Rourke, Vodafone, Total, Finmeccanica, Citigroup, Arup and the Royal Society.
- Philanthropy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Palgrave Pivot, co-authored with Mark Dodgson, 2020
- Innovation: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, co-authored with Mark Dodgson, Second Edition, 2018
- The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management, Oxford University Press, co-edited with Mark Dodgson and Nelson Phillips, 2014
- The Management of Technological Innovation: Strategy and Practice, Oxford University Press, co-authored with Mark Dodgson and Ammon Salter, 2008
- Think Play Do: technology, innovation and organization, Oxford University Press, co-authored with Mark Dodgson and Ammon Salter, 2005
- The New Patterns of Innovation, Harvard Business Review, co-authored with Rashik Parmar, Ian Mackenzie and David Cohn, 2014
- Organizational Learning and the Technology of Foolishness: The Case of Virtual Worlds at IBM, Organization Science, co-authored with Mark Dodgson and Nelson Phillips, 2013
- Physical-digital integration in city infrastructure, IBM Journal of Research and Development, co-authored with Mark Dodgson and Dheeraj Bhardwaj, 2011