United Kingdom

Paul Simmonds

Paul has been involved in policy consulting since the late 1980s and is specialised in studies related to research and innovation. He has a strong track record in policy evaluation, both within the research and innovation sphere and more broadly.

He is the UK Managing Director, a member of the Technopolis Company Board and a major shareholder in the Technopolis Group.

Recent studies include assessing the economic returns to engineering research and training for the EPSRC, a review of the effectiveness of NERC Council, an economic impact assessment of the ISIS neutron and muon source for STFC, an economic impact assessment of the ARTES advanced telecommunications programme for the European Space Agency (ESA), a review of legislation governing national research systems across the EU member states for DG Research and a review of the drivers and barriers affecting the expansion in the provision of undergraduate degrees, for the Royal Academy of Engineering. Work for the European Commission includes ex ante, interim and final evaluations of various EU RTD programmes, including the Security and Space Research Actions and the impact of FP7 on SMEs. Other recent studies include a review of the IP activities of firms in Ireland, for the Department for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, an international comparison of policy and practice in knowledge transfer, for Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI), an assessment of the commercial opportunities presented by Smart Ageing, for an inter-departmental working group chaired by Ireland’s Department of the Taoiseach. He has recently completed the design of evaluation frameworks relating to low carbon innovation, for DECC, and investments in cycling infrastructure, for Department for Transport.

Paul has done a good deal of work on research in the HE sector too, including an evaluation of the Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) as well as the lessons-learned reviews of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) pilot exercises (Bibliometrics and Impact Assessment pilots), for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Most recently, he carried out the REF 2014 Accountability Review and led a study to review the novel research opportunities presented by improving access to patient level clinical data, for the Wellcome Trust.

Paul also led a succession of studies exploring international research cooperation, including a review of UK universities’ strategic management of international research collaboration, for Universities UK, mapping international bilateral S&T collaboration between the UK and Japan, for the British Embassy in Tokyo, and an international review of the drivers of UK international engagement in science and innovation, for the Global Science and Innovation Forum (GSIF).

Paul also led various policy studies and evaluations for England’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in the period prior to their abolition, as well as numerous studies for other public bodies and think tanks, such as the Design Council and NESTA. Other regional development work include a meta analysis of evaluations to identify good practice in the evaluation of innovation support measures for DG Regional Policy, an evaluation of the France-England Interreg IVa programme and a study for InterTradeIreland in Northern Ireland, exploring the opportunities to strengthen the all-island innovation ecosystem through increased cross-border cooperation.

Other notable studies include the 2015 strategic review of Ireland’s membership of ESA, the mid-term review of the Energy Technologies Institute, evaluations of the UK civil space programme for the former Department of Trade and Industry, the impact of the EU Framework Programmes (FP4, FP5, FP6 & FP7) in the UK, an evaluation of the Cambridge MIT Institute (CMI) for DIUS and the Strategic Review of the Knowledge Transfer Networks for the former Technology Strategy Board.

He originally trained as a marine engineer, but changed track in the early 1980s moving into the science policy domain by way of a masters degree from SPRU at the University of Sussex. He is currently the independent Chair of the University of Sussex’s Research Governance Committee.

Paul is married with three adult children and lives in Brighton. His hobbies include cycling and sailing.