Dr David Leal-Ayala

Deputy Head, Policy Links

Dr David Leal-Ayala is the Deputy Head of the Policy Links Unit at IfM Engage, responsible for designing, managing and delivering a variety of industrial innovation policy consulting projects and capacity building programmes for civil servants and policy makers.


A manufacturing engineer by training, David provides policy expertise in industrial technology development and commercialisation, assessment and development of policy recommendations and action plans for strengthening national innovation systems, characterisation of technological, manufacturing and industrial systems, and industrial ecology and sustainability.


With wide regional expertise in Europe, the Caribbean, Middle East and South East Asia, David has extensive advisory experience on how to develop effective industrial innovation policy mechanisms for governments and international organisations including UNIDO, UNDP, IDB and ADB. He has authored numerous policy reports and news articles in various specialised websites such as UNIDO and WEF and he regularly speaks at high-profile international events such as the Hannover Messe and the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), among other forums.


Prior to joining IfM Engage, David gained diverse experience running a technology start-up and working in academia and the corporate world. Between 2013 and 2016, he served as Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Reduse, a Cambridge start-up based on his PhD research which aimed to develop the first ‘Unprinter’ to remove print from paper, later acquired by tech company REEP Technologies. In 2015 David was awarded the MIT Innovators Under 35 prize from MIT Technology Review for this work, while the scientific research underpinning this start-up was published in numerous articles in internationally leading journals, chapters and patents.

Contact Details

T: +44(0)1223 764908
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