Prof Paul Nightingale

Post:Professor Of Strategy (SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, Business and Management, University of Sussex Business School)

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 877315
International:+44 1273 877315

Research expertise:
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I was originally trained as a chemist and worked in industry as in analytical environmental toxicology in the R&D labs of a major blue chip firm. My PhD was on the changing technology of technical change and looked at the use of computer simulations in the pharmaceutical, aerospace, chemical and chemical engineering industries. It also involved a pilot study of the LEP detector at CERN.

After my PhD I worked for 10 years in the Complex Product Systems Innovation Centre, jointly run between SPRU and CENTRIM. While there I did a lot of work on bioinformatics systems and risk management technology in investment banks.  Some of the papers this work produced can be downloaded below.

I've done a substantial amount of policy work on innovation policy in the UK and led NESTA's Innovation Gap research project, working closely with Virginia Acha, who was the brains behind the final report. The Innovation Gap report integrated a lot of the research findings from the CoPS innovation centre's work, as well as similar work that had been undertaken at our partner innovation centre CRIC at the University of Manchester.  The main concern of the report was that many traditional indicators of innovation now fail to capture the complexity of technical change in the UK economy. As a result, public policy has become increasingly disconnected from practice. The report also highlighted the large amount of 'hidden innovation' ongoing in the economy, building on the original work on Hidden Innovation that had been undertaken by my PhD student at the time Michael Hopkins.

My main areas of work now relate to financial innovation, and its impact on the economy. I am PI of a large three year research project that will be exploring venture capital policy, the funding and management of high impact 'gazelle' firms, and innovation in investment banking.


I'm deputy director of SPRU and run a number of fairly large research projects. I also teach on the Technology Systems introduction MSc course.