skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Finbarr Livesey

Dr Finbarr Livesey


University Teaching Officer

Office hours: Appointment by email

Office Phone: 01223 767 243


Dr Livesey joined POLIS in March 2013 as Lecturer in Public Policy and Deputy Director of the MPhil in Public Policy. Prior to this he was Acting Director of the MPhil in Technology Policy at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

Dr Livesey’s research addresses three areas – the changing dynamics of the global economy, the role of government in supporting growth based on the emergence of new industries, and the how policy making is changing due to new technologies.

Much has been written on how globalisation has become a dominant force, with economic power shifting from West to East. However, much of this literature takes a large-scale, national economies approach. Understanding how companies are making decisions, specifically on where to locate production due to automation, changing demand profiles and new production technologies, and working from the bottom up challenges many current theories of how the global economy is likely to evolve in the long term. Dr Livesey is completing a new book which will be published by Pantheon in the US and Profile in the UK in 2017.

The changing economics of technology-based industries and the role that government can and should play in supporting their growth are critically important for countries such as the UK, as future growth depends on being able to understand how new industrial systems and industries emerge and how the national economy can capture sufficient value as they grow and internationalise. This area has been understudied over the past twenty years as industrial policy and the complementary analysis of the structure of the economy went out of fashion.

At the same time calls for evidence-based policy making, moves to open policy making combined with the increasing use of digital technologies across government are radically changing the policy development process. There is much hype and a lack of rigorous work on how these changes will affect the policy process.

Dr Livesey originally trained in physics (University College Cork, Ireland) and Computer Science (University of Cambridge) and spent five years as a technology developer and consultant with Olivetti Research Labs and Cambridge Consultants Ltd. After leaving industry, he completed a Masters in Public Policy at the Kennedy School (Harvard University) and then took a PhD in industrial economics and policy (University of Cambridge). He also ran the Centre for Industry and Government at the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge from 2004 to 2011 and retains an affiliation as an academic visitor at the Institute. 

Key Publications

  • Livesey, F. (2015). Searching for advanced manufacturing in the United Kingdom and the United States: definitions, measurement and public policy. In Bryson, J., Clark, J. & Vanchan, V. (eds) (2015). Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy, Edward Elgar. 
  • Moultrie, J. & Livesey, F. (2014). Measuring design investment in firms: Conceptual foundations and exploratory UK survey, Research Policy, vol. 43, no. 3, pp. 570 - 587.
  • Livesey, F. (2013). How should governments support the emergence of new industries in leading economies, International Journal of Public Policy, vol. 9, no. 1/2, pp. 108 - 130.
  • Livesey, F. (2012). The need for a new understanding of manufacturing and industrial policy in leading economies, Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalisation, Summer 2012, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 193–202.
  • Livesey, F. (2012). Rationales for industrial policy based on industry maturity, Journal of Industry Competition and Trade, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 349 – 363, DOI: 10.1007/s10842-011-0103-8.
  • Plagnol, A., Rowley, E., Martin, P. & Livesey, F. (2009). Industry perceptions of barriers to commercialization of regenerative medicine products in the UK, Regenerative Medicine, vol.4, no. 4, pp. 549-559, doi:10.2217/rme.09.21.
  • Moultrie J., Livesey T. F., Malvido C., Beltagui A., Pawar K., & Riedel J. (2009). Design Funding in Firms: A Conceptual Model of the Role of Design in Industry,Design Management Journal, vol. 5, no.1, pp. 68 – 82.
  • Brevignon, L. & Livesey, F. (2007). What can be learnt from the Japanese regulatory approach to tissue engineered products?, Regenerative Medicine, vol.2, no.6, pp. 967-971, doi:10.2217/17460751.2.6.967.
  • Brevignon, L. & Livesey, F. (2006). Regulation of tissue-engineered products in the European Union: where are we heading?, Regenerative Medicine, vol 1, no. 5, pp. 709 – 714, doi:10.2217/17460751.1.5.709.

Other Publications

  • Livesey, F. (2014). Report on survey of Brazilian Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), report completed as part of the Intellectual Property Commercialisation: Phase II project sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
  • Livesey, F. (2012). Public perceptions of manufacturing and efforts to rebalance the UK economy, Centre for Industry and Government Working Paper, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.
  • Dee, N., Livesey, F., Gill, D., & Minshall, T. (2011). Incubation for Growth: A review of the impact of business incubation on new ventures with high growth potential, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, London.
  • Moultrie, J. & Livesey, F. (2011). Design Economics: Design right case studies, Intellectual Property Office, London.
  • Livesey, F., O’Sullivan, E. & Oughton, D. (2008). Support for the development of the low carbon energy technology strategy, report for the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), March 2008.
  • Livesey, F., Minshall, T., & Moultrie, J. (2006). Investigating the technology-based innovation gap for the United Kingdom, report to the Design Council, June 2006.
  • Livesey, F. (2006). Defining High Value Manufacturing , report for the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), January 2006.
  • Livesey, F., Cabell, D., Chan, J., Guerrero, S., Kariyawasam, R., & Moore, J. (2001).Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Moving forward with the Genoa Plan of Action, report prepared for the Montreal Meeting of the G8 DOT Force, October 2001.
  • Auerswald, P., Feinson, S., & Livesey, F. (2001). Competitive Imperatives for the Commonwealth: A conceptual framework to guide the design of the state economic strategy, report prepared for the Massachusetts Department of Economic Development, September 2001.