Nottingham University Business School
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Dr Cher Li

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

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

Cher is a Professor of Economics of Innovation since 2023. She joined Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) as an associate professor in industrial economics in 2013. Cher has an extensive background in higher education, having previously worked at Imperial College Business School, the University of Strathclyde, and the University of Glasgow. She currently serves as a Research Fellow at the Nottingham Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP, University of Nottingham), and as a Research Associate at the Centre for Business Research (CBR) within the Cambridge Judge Business School.

A recognised expert in her field, Cher is a member of the BEIS Expert Peer Review Group since 2019 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 research primarily centres on innovation, intellectual property (IP), technology standards, and productivity. She has successfully secured funding for her research projects from organisations such as 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 the 2 million GBP UKRI project - Transforming Productivity: Coordination and Evidence Hub (2020-2023, funded by ESRC). This project aims to convert academic insights on productivity into practical solutions and designs interventions to address the UK's productivity challenges.

Cher's expertise has led her to consult widely for various government offices, independent agencies, and private businesses, often serving on steering groups for many UK government projects in innovation, IP, internationalisation, and productivity. Her policy reports have contributed to the evidence base used in shaping the UK's industrial policy, including the 2014 BEIS Foresight initiative on the Future of Manufacturing. In 2019, Cher received the prestigious BSI Standards Makers Awards for Education about Standardisation from the British Standards Institution, in recognition of her exceptional teaching and research in standards, innovation, and productivity. Recently, Cher has provided in-depth advice on the evaluation of the following programmes -

- 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 Business Basics Programme
- 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 indicators such as productivity. Consequently, she is eager to welcome PhD applications in these areas.

Follow Prof. 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 supervising the following Research Students:

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



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