Research Projects

This section of the blog is currently under construction.

I am currently involved in a number of research projects, large and small, and with colleagues in Stirling and elsewhere. Brief details of these are supplied below together with appropriate links to further information where available. If you need further information then please contact me.

  • Understanding Scottish Places

The Scottish Government has commissioned a consortium (managed by Carnegie UK Trust) to create a new toolkit for towns practitioners and communities. The Understanding Scottish Places (USP) toolkit will enable towns practitioners to:

1. Understand their town within a Scottish typology

2. Understand their town’s function, particularly in relation to the interrelationships and flows between towns.

3. Benchmark progress

The toolkit aims to provide accessible visual presentations of information which will help practitioners, decision makers and stakeholders work together to understand towns, and plan and evaluate strategies to deliver improvements in what are often challenging times for our towns.

The project is a joint venture between Carnegie UK Trust, CLES, Towns Alive, Scotland’s Towns, the University of Stirling and East Renfrewshire Council.  The website once launched will be hosted by Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

A leaflet is available here and further details will be posted here. The project also tweets using the hashtag #TownsTool

  • Glasgow and Clyde Valley Region Retail Study: future retail trends, implications and impacts
  • Transactional loyalty program for multiple independent businesses

In January 2014 the Technology Strategy Board (the UK’s innovation agency) announced they were to invest up to £8m in a competition to encourage new ways of attracting people back to UK high streets. The competition seeks to develop new technology enabled solutions to address the challenge facing the high street by exploring innovative approaches to retailing service provision, logistics and travel management. The competition is open to SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) organisations that can demonstrate a route to market for their solution.

I am delighted that we at the University – and the retail group in particular – are involved in one of the successful Phase One bids. Miconex Ltd – a Perth based company – are the lead with technology partners Sparkle. We are involved in assessing the impact of the innovation. We describe the project as follows :


  • Neo-demographics: opening developing world markets by using personal data and collaboration

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