Dr David Adkins

Dr David Adkins

Associate Head of School - Postgraduate Programmes

Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Lecturer in International Procurement and Supply Chain Management


I joined the university in 2011, following a variety of industrial experiences, including a seagoing logistics role; and commercial and procurement management. My teaching focuses on two broad areas - procurement, and maritime business, including commercial practice and law. My research supports this, with my PhD linked to the competitiveness of regional maritime economies. 

I am particularly interested in student's academic and professional development, from their initial experiences in the early days of year one, through to the completion of the dissertation at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I have some close industry ties, acting as a link between students, alumni and industry. 

Professional membership

Fellow of the Regional Studies Association
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply
Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
Associate Member of the Institute of Export



Teaching interests

I contribute to the teaching of procurement and supply chain management at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Staff serving as external examiners

External Examiner for the MBA at Cardiff Metropolitan University and partner institutions. I am also EE for Global Online Network MBA/MBA Strategic Health and Social Care at the Manchester Metropolitan University. 



Research interests

My research interests focus on maritime clusters and their role in developing a sustainable maritime industry. Particular focus is on cluster governance and social capital within clusters. Allied to this is an interest in how the effects of clusters can be measured, especially beyond more traditional measures of GDP and GVA.

I am a member of the Competitiveness Institute and am part of their Cluster Evaluation Working Group.

PhD 2021: The Governance of Maritime Clusters and the Impact on Sustainable Development and Social Capital

Grants & contracts

2019 - Faculty of Arts & Humanities Knowledge Exchange Small Grants Scheme - Connecting Us to Our Oceans: Shipping in Schools Project
2016 - Marine Institute Education Fund Grant
2015 - Faculty of Business Research Facilitation Grant



'Maritime Cluster Governance: A Key Pillar of Sustainable Regional Development', The Port and Maritime Sector: Key Developments and Challenges - World Conference on Transport Research Society Special Interest Group 2 Conference, Antwerp, 3-4 May 2018

'The Effect of Cluster Governance', MLBP PhD Research Seminar, Plymouth, 15 December 2017

'Measuring the Impact of Clusters on Sustainable Development', Regional Studies 2017 Annual Conference 'the Great Regional Awakening: New Directions', Dublin, 4-7 June 2017

'Beyond GDP: A Framework for Measuring Sustainable Development in Maritime Clusters', 19th TCI Global Conference, Eindhoven, 8-10 November 2016

'Examining the Impact of Social Capital on Sustainability in UK Maritime Clusters', Eleventh International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability, Copenhagen, 21-23 January 2015

'UK Maritime Clusters: Assessing the Impact of Social Capital on Innovation and Sustainable Development', Geography of Innovation, Utrecht, 23-25 January 2014 

'Knowledge is power: Social and Environmental Success for UK Maritime Industries?', RSA Early Career Conference, Hamburg, 1-2 November 2012



Reports & invited lectures

'Policies for Maritime Industry 4.0', Korea Maritime Institute & Pusan National University, May 2019 

'Maritime Clusters: Developing a Sustainable Maritime Industry', World Maritime Day - Plymouth, September 2017

'The Contemporary Role of Procurement in the Supply Chain', Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Venlo. November 2016.