After a recent retirement from a senior position at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Allan joins the University as an Honorary Professor and brings his extensive knowledge of Whitehall, local government and the European Commission and member states.
His area of expertise aligns closely with City-REDI, including understanding cities and urban transformation, understanding urban economies and environments, and policy aspects of Smart Cities, including the development of the Government’s strategy in this area, which was published in October 2013, and BSI’s strategy for developing a suite of smart city standards. He has been a member of Birmingham City Council’s Smart City Group and was instrumental in the development of the Greenwich Smart City Strategy, which was published recently.
An industrial economist by training, he was, until December 2013, Head of the BIS Services Policy Unit with particular responsibility for developing policies to enhance the knowledge-intensive service economy, with the active support of the Professional and Business Services Group, Chaired by Sir Michael Snyder. As a result of his policy work in this field, he was invited to Chair the EU Expert Panel of Service Innovation, which reported to Vice President Tajani in 2011, and whose recommendations have been substantially implemented by the EU Commission. He remains closely linked to European innovation policy networks.
He had a formative role in the DTI/Treasury Innovation review of 2002/2003. During this review he developed a more coherent Government Technology Strategy including the establishment of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and was responsible for developing the TSB strategy, until the Board moved to Swindon in 2007. His involvement with the TSB provides him with an unusual understanding of British innovation policy. Moreover, his experience in running the UK’s International Technology Service has given him a broader understanding of innovation worldwide.
Current interests include developing holistic policy responses to the challenges posed by the automation of services, where he is a member of an Advisory Group to the Foundation for Progressive European Studies(FEPS) a Brussels based Think Tank. His work on smart cities and the transformation of service systems has also led him to examine the role and importance of devolution as a factor in regional economic performance.
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