Nottingham University Business School
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Dr Cher Li

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MSc (Leicester), PhD (Glasgow), Harvard Business School training certificate on Ar (Imperial College London), AFHEA (Higher Education Academy, UK)
Associate Professor in Industrial Economics

Department: Industrial Economics
Tel: +44 (0) 115 8231397
Location: C35 (South Building, Jubilee Campus)

Since 2013 Cher has been an Associate Professor in Industrial Economics in the Division of Economics and Finance at NUBS. Prior to joining Nottingham, Cher worked at Imperial College Business School, University of Strathclyde and University of Glasgow. She is a Research Fellow in the Nottingham Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP, University of Nottingham), and also a Research Associate in the Centre for Business Research (CBR) at Cambridge Judge Business School. Cher is a member of the BEIS Expert Peer Review Group and also a member of the Innovation Caucus since 2017 - a leading think tank funded by ESRC and Innovate UK to provide thought-leadership as well as inform innovation policy and practice.

As an economist by training, Cher's primary areas of research focus on innovation, intellectual property (IP), technology standards and productivity. Her research projects have been funded by the ESRC, UK government departments (e.g., BEIS, UK Trade and Investment now the Dept for International Trade, Scottish Enterprise), and international organisations. Most recently, Cher is a Co-investigator on a 2 million GBP UKRI project - Transforming Productivity: Coordination and Evidence Hub (2020-2023, funded by ESRC) which translates academic insights on productivity into "what works" and designs interventions to address productivity challenges in the UK.

Cher has consulted widely across government offices, independent agencies, and private businesses, and additionally served on the steering groups for several UK government projects in innovation, IP, internationalisation, and productivity. Her policy reports have contributed to the evidence base informing industrial policy by UK government; for instance, the BEIS Foresight initiative in 2014 on the Future of Manufacturing. In 2019, she won a prestigious BSI Standards Makers Awards for Education about Standardisation given by the British Standards Institution, in recognition of her teaching and research on standards, innovation, and productivity issues. Cher has recently provided in-depth advice on the following programmes (and their evaluation) -

- United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)’s Economic Value of Accredited Certification
- GO-Science (BEIS) Covid-19 Recovery Group (Local and National Growth ARI)
- BEIS Help to Grow: Digital
- BEIS Energy Entrepreneurs Fund
- National Measurement System (NMS) Measurement for Innovators Programme

Cher's primary areas of research focus on innovation, technology standards, intellectual property, and firm performance such as productivity, and thus particularly welcomes PhD applications in these areas.

Follow Dr Li's work in the ESRC PrOPEL Hub -

- Cher recently chaired a panel discussion to explore fresh perspectives in light of the impact COVID-19 has had on how we work as well as future trends in management practices and productivity. The panel brought together leading economists to discuss the role of management practices for productivity, building a productive workforce, the role of technology in better management and productivity, current trends, and lessons. Event video here

- Outlook on UK Productivity post-Covid-19, where our panel discussion explores what impact the Covid-19 crisis will have on UK productivity and the policy implications. Event video here

Twitter: @CherLi_econ

Areas of Expertise
Innovation; Intellectual Property; Technology Standards; Business Performance; Productivity


The following lists my publications from 2014 to the present day.

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Cher is module convenor of the following module(s):


Industrial Economics I: Economics of Organisation and Innovation (BUSI2170)

Details of all modules can be found on MyNottingham

Dr Cher Li has research interests in applied microeconomics and business economics, with a particular focus on issues around business innovation, intellectual property, technology standards, productivity etc. She has undertaken research on a number of projects funded by research councils and government departments, empirically evaluating the impact of technology adoption on performance, quantifying the contribution of exporting and R&D to the UK productivity growth, investigating the determinants and impact of firms' participation in developing technology standards, evaluating the effectiveness of innovation support programmes and industrial policies, and so on. Her recent research (joint with Justus Baron and Shukhrat Nasirov) studies the firm-level determinants of participating in standards organisations, paying special attention to the role of R&D investment, patents and product-market positions in developing open technology standards in ICT areas. This working paper can be downloaded here -

Research collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI)
- Standards, coronavirus and the economy

- The UK productivity problem: some standards solutions

Cher is currently collaborating on the following projects:

  • The PROPEL Hub - Productivity Outcomes Of Workplace Practice, Engagement And Learning

Cher is currently supervising the following Research Students:

Gabriela Pizarro Veloso
Shadrul Hassan Himel
Xin Deng
Administrative Roles
Departmental External Engagement Director (Ind Econ)



Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

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