Imperial College London


Business School

Visiting Researcher







Business School BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Keith Smith is Senior Research Fellow in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, Imperial College Business School, and Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo. He works on innovation dynamics, policies for energy innovation, and multilateral collaboration in innovation policy. From 2009 to 2012 he headed the Knowledge and Innovation Analysis Team in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills  (BIS) in London. He continues on secondment from Imperial (for 20% of his time) to BIS as an advisor to the Innovation Directorate.

The Knowledge and Innovation Group in BIS is responsible for the UK Science Budget, and in particular the funding for science through the UK’s seven Research Councils, and for all innovation policy instruments, notably the Technology Strategy Board. At BIS, Keith Smith was responsible for policy analysis across science and innovation, including the management and reporting from the UK Innovation Survey and monitoring UK R&D and science performance. He authored (with Agnes Estibals) the analytical work behind the current UK Innovation and Research Strategy, in particular the report UK Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth (BIS, 2011)

From 2009-2012  Keith Smith represented the UK on the OECD’s Committee on Science and Technology Policy (CSTP) and was a member of its management bureau. 

After training at Cambridge and Sussex universities, Keith Smith has worked extensively on issues in the economics of innovation. From 1990-2000 he was Director of the STEP Group (Studies in Technology and Economic Policy) in Oslo, Norway, and was then at the United Nations University (UNU-INTECH) in Maastricht, working on innovation and development issues. He worked for the European Commission, at the Joint Research Centre in Seville, Spain, on policy issues related to the European Research Area. More recently (2005-8) he was Professor of Innovation at the Australian Innovation Research Centre, University of Tasmania, where he developed and led the world's first innovation census. He has consulted extensively for national governments and international organisations as well as serving on government policy commissions in several countries. His research has concentrated on the nature of innovation processes, on innovation systems theories and public policy, on innovation in low-technology industries and on innovation statistics and indicators. He has published extensively on each of these topics.



Smith K, 2017, Innovating for the global commons: multilateral collaboration in a polycentric world, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Vol:33, ISSN:0266-903X, Pages:49-65

Bruland K, Smith K, 2013, Assessing the role of steam power in the first industrial revolution: The early work of Nick von Tunzelmann, Research Policy, Vol:42, ISSN:0048-7333, Pages:1716-1723

Moncada-Paterno-Castello P, Ciupagea C, Smith K, et al., 2010, Does Europe perform too little corporate R&D? A comparison of EU and non-EU corporate R&D performance, Research Policy, Vol:39, ISSN:0048-7333, Pages:523-536

Robertson P, Smith K, von Tunzelmann N, 2009, Innovation in low- and medium-technology industries, Research Policy, Vol:38, ISSN:0048-7333, Pages:441-446

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