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Our researchSectoral spotlights

Our staff possess a wealth of experience working across a range of different sectors including but not limited to:

Below we provide some further information on what sector-specific research has been conducted and why.


Productivity in UK manufacturing

Professor Jillian MacBryde has undertaken recent research, supported by ESRC through the Productivity Insights Network, investigating productivity in UK manufacturing. The findings of this work were among other things presented to a meeting of MPs and Peers at the Palace of Westminster.

She has recently been awarded funding from EPSRC to undertake work on "Understanding the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on UK manufacturing and identifying priorities for renewal through innovation".

High technology manufacturing industries

Dr. Aylin Ates’ research links the domains of strategy, technology, organisational change and innovation management within high technology manufacturing industries.

Fishers Services

She is a Principle Investigator in a KTP project with Fishers Services (2017-19). The KTP project has highlighted stock control issues where the company spend about £4mil per year. The KTP has developed an accurate system of track and trace using RFID technology that can be implemented into the factories for minimal cost and disruption for day-to-day activities.

The management team are looking to increase their market share in the UK by expanding geographically with investment in additional factories or acquisition of businesses. The RFID system will feature extensively in this expansion as they learn more and more about product lifecycles and customer behaviours.

Leonardo MW Ltd

Dr Aylin Ates is a Co-Investigator in a KTP project with Leonardo MW Ltd (2019-21), which aims to embed capability in product lifecycle, project, and engineering management, and integrate this within existing processes to implement a robust design and manufacturing process that will translate to increased productivity, improved yield and business growth.

Regional development agencies

Dr. Ates also has an ongoing collaboration with regional development agencies such as Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service and international partners in the area of high value manufacturing ecosystems and developing the competitiveness of SMEs. She authored a series of research papers (e.g. SME resilience, performance management in SMEs, high value manufacturing, maturity models) and book chapters (e.g. high value manufacturing networks, open strategy in SMEs) disseminating her research in this field.


Matthew Hannon has been researching the energy sector for over 12 years. His research examines the policy and market conditions necessary to accelerate low-carbon energy technology and business model innovation. He is a co-investigator on UKRI’s £10m EnergyREV consortium on smart, locally-led energy systems, and the UK Energy Research Centre’s Community Energy Finance project, alongside Dr Iain Cairns.

Dave Mackay is currently engaged in a 2-year knowledge transfer partnerships relating to strategy and innovation objectives. It is with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks developing high engagement strategy and innovation processes, practices and systems towards the delivery of T2 business plan outcomes, relating to its electricity transmission network operations.

Matthew Hannon has also written a book on innovation to accelerate the energy revolution, written reports for the Labour Party and World Energy Council, and had work cited in government and parliamentary reports. He currently sits on Scottish Power Energy Networks’ Customer Engagement Group to inform their five-year business plan for Ofgem’s RIIO-ED2. He is also a British Institute of Energy Economics council member, chair and trustee of the community energy charity South Seeds and an Honorary Member of the Green Angel Syndicate.

Food & drink

With international colleagues from around Europe, Professor Sarah Dodd explores the development of alternative craft sector enterprise, at the periphery. Current work includes a study of beer, brewing and rural policy through time. These build on SUII funded workshops, with craft brewers and policymakers, exploring the challenges and opportunities around collaborative growth.

Financial services & fintech

Members of the Hunter Centre are collaborating on research related to Financial Services and particularly FinTech. Dr Veselina Stoyanova, Dr Efstathios Tapinos and Dr Dilshod Makhmadshoev are working on how companies from FinTech Scotland are dealing with the uncertainty of the external environment in the development of strategy.


Efstathios Tapinos is a Co-I in the UKRI funded project, “The Future of Autonomous Electrified Flight”, which explores the future of self-driven drones. This project is envisioned to have significant impact, as it will chart how self-driven drones can operate in Scotland with the first application being the NHS. This is an interdisciplinary project with Strathclyde’s Engineering faculty.

The Digital economy

Russell Matthews’ recent work has focused on the role that disruptive digital technologies play in enabling emerging business models. Examples of this include his research on blockchain-enabled entrepreneurship in the music industry. This research stream is underpinned by studies of fundamental entrepreneurial practices (early-stage selling) and of broader enterprise policy mechanisms, such as business advisory services.

Dave Mackay is currently engaged in a 2-year knowledge transfer partnerships relating to strategy and innovation objectives. It is with the Virgin Money group, piloting a platform innovation approach to creating and digitally scaling a new customer offering.