Early Career in Economics and Management Consultancy
After reading Physics at the University of Bristol and later being awarded Masters degrees in Operational Research and Economics (both with Distinction) from the Universities of Lancaster and London (Birkbeck College) respectively, David spent 4 years with the National Economic Development Office. At NEDO he helped pioneer the examination of “non-price factors”, such as low R&D spending, in the work of the tripartite industry committees working on the then government’s industrial strategy.
From 1978 to 1989 he worked for Deloitte Haskins Sells Management Consultants and led its High Technology Group. As a biproduct of his client work he wrote a guidebook for entrepreneurs – “Starting a High Technology Company, Strategies for Success”. This was published by both Deloitte and Barclays Bank.
While at Deloitte in London, David carried out a major study of international strategic partnering, an important and poorly understood corporate phenomenon at the time. This included interviews with directors of major corporations in Europe the US and Japan. His resulting book – Teaming up for The Nineties, Strategies for Success was eventually published in 1990 by the newly created Deloitte and Touche through Business One Irwin after the UK firm had opted out of the international merger led by the US firm, and ascribed to two of its US partners.
STEM Based Companies, Venture Capital and Innovation Policy
In 1989 , David joined The Technology Partnership, a new technology consulting firm established by a group of 24 experienced engineers and scientists. He was a member of its Management Committee and set up and led its Strategy Division, working with major corporations on innovation strategy, venturing and R&D management.
TTP grew to be one of Cambridge’s most successful science and technology based companies, and also created a string of successful spin off businesses. Its shareholders sold the business to an Employee Trust in 2021.
In 1998, together with colleague Christopher Van Essen, David set up TTP Ventures with funding from Siemens, Boeing and financial investors. Its investments included Element 14 and Alphamosaic, both sold to Broadcom, Oxford Diffraction, sold to Agilent, and Argenta Discovery, sold to Galapagos.
After retiring as Chief Executive of TTP Ventures in 2006, he split his time between his research on innovation with the Centre for Business Research and various non-executive roles.