Adrian’s expertise focuses on innovation and regional economic development, combining knowledge of innovation, education and research initiatives. In this capacity he has worked with local, regional and national authorities in the UK as well as with several of the European Commission Directorate Generals and other Member States.
His experience includes working as an advisor on regional innovation to DG Research advisory groups and as an expert advisor to the ODPM House of Commons Select Committee Inquiry into Regional Disparities in Prosperity in the UK. Adrian has an acknowledged expertise in the Structural Funds, and recently advised Higher Education Wales on their response to the Structural Fund Reflection Exercise in Wales. On a practical level Adrian has extensive knowledge of innovation policies and their evaluation, in the UK and abroad.
Adrian is currently examining the spatial dynamics of economic growth, with a particular consideration of patterns of regional innovation, the role of social innovation in regional growth and the resilience of regional economies.
Adrian joined CPLAN in 2011. He was previously employed as a Director of the consultancy company ECORYS, where he specialized in European innovation policies and economic development.
Adrian completed his PhD in Regional Innovation at Cardiff University in 2009 and then competed as a crew member in a round the world sailing race (2009-2010).
Adrian currently combines his part-time employment at CPLAN with independent policy advice and research activities.
Adrian’s current research activities include managing a major European study examining Regional Resilience in the face of Economic Crises, as part of the European ESPON programme. He is also actively engaged in research into innovation strategies in the UK and the EU, with a particular focus on the concept of ‘Smart Specialisation’.
In addition to his research interests, Adrian collaborates with a number of leading consultancy companies. He recently led a major evaluation of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) for DG EAC and led a comparative evaluation of the Marie Curie COFUND programme, also for DG EAC.
He is currently collaborating on an evaluation of the Low Carbon Research Institute in Wales and is about to embark on an evaluation of KESS and ATM in Wales.
Previous experience includes leading an evaluation of the regional dimension to EU R&D policies; undertaking the evaluation of the EU's Regions of Knowledge Pilot Action; leading a major study on the role of HEIs in the Greater South East on innovation and knowledge transfer in the UK; advising several English RDAs on the development of innovation support activities, an examination of the High Growth Programme in Wales, and various activities promoting the role of innovation in the present European Territorial Cooperation Objective.