David Cleevely

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David Cleevely
David Cleevely.jpeg
David Cleevely

September 1953
OccupationTelecoms expert, entrepreneur
Home townCambridge

David Douglas Cleevely, CBE, FREng,[1] FIET (born September 1953) is an entrepreneur and international telecoms expert[2] who has built and advised many companies, principally in Cambridge, UK.


In 1985 Cleevely founded the telecommunications consultancy Analysys Mason,[3] which was acquired by Datatec in 2004. Whilst at Analysys he made a significant contribution to the theory and practice of calculating Universal Service Obligation costs[4] and was involved with a report to the European Commission on VoIP creating the framework for VoIP within the EU[5] and the identification of The Broadband Gap – where the cost of supply would exceed the price consumers were willing to pay which prompted UK Government policy intervention in 2001–2005[6] to force increased broadband infrastructure in the UK.

He is an authority on telecommunication policy and has advised numerous governments on policy and innovation frameworks.[7] He advised the Prime Minister[8] and UK Government on the ecommerce@its.best.uk report,[3] and was one of the 8 industry experts that compiled the Communications White Paper[9] which became the Communications Act 2003.

In 2001 he was appointed by the UK government to the Spectrum Management Advisory Group,[10] which became the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board, and the IET Communications Policy Panel. He has also appeared before Select Committees in both Parliament[11] and in the House of Lords.[12]


Cleevely's entrepreneurial activities have been focused on the Cambridge area, with Business Weekly describing him as, "Intellectual heavyweight and passionate evangelist for the cluster. He has worked tirelessly to get government to understand what makes Cambridge academia and business tick."[13] In 2015, his contribution to the UK Government-backed report Visions of Cambridge 2065 saw him predict dramatic changes in the city over the coming 50 years, such as having more than 1 million residents, two $100 billion companies and a regional underground system. [14]

In 1997 Cleevely co-founded Cambridge Network with Hermann Hauser, Alec Broers, Nigel Brown, Fred Hallsworth and Anthony Ross.[15]

In 1998 he co-founded biotech company Abcam plc[16] and was chairman until November 2009.

In 2001 he co-founded and became chairman of Cambridge Wireless (originally Cambridge 3G) with Edward Astle. He later said of the mobile industry, "This is an industry undergoing a revolution. The competitive edge is moving from handsets to platforms, from voice to data, from services to apps. The move of the big internet players into mobile is just the beginning. The future of the industry hinges on how this will play out."[17]

In the same year Cleevely co-founded Cambridge Angels, a group of angel investors who have now invested over £20m into 40 companies in the Cambridge area.[18]

In late 2004 he co-founded the 3g pico base station company, 3WayNetworks, which was sold to Airvana in April 2007. Between 2005 and 2008 he was Chairman of the Communications Research Network at University of Cambridge, part of the Cambridge–MIT Institute.

In 2007 he co-founded and became the Chairman of the spectrum monitoring company CRFS, which has subsequently carried out the first ever UK-wide spectrum monitoring.[19] In 2008 he also became the Chairman of the scanning ion-conductance microscopy company ionscope.

In 2009 David Cleevely became the founding chairman for the new Centre for Science and Policy[20] and in 2012 joined forces with Hermann Hauser and Jonathan Milner – described as the "three musketeers of the Cambridge technology cluster"[21] – to launch a seed funding round to create a Science Centre in Cambridge. In this year he also joined the board of Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.[22]

He funded and became chairman[23] of the Bocca di Lupo restaurant in Soho, London in 2008, and of its subsidiary, Gelupo, in 2011. Bocca di Lupo came top in Time Out London's 50 best restaurants for 2009,[24] was a runner-up in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2010[25] and was named by Restaurant Magazine as the 23rd best restaurant in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards 2010.[26] In 2013 he also invested in Cambridge restaurant The Pint Shop.[27]

In 2014 he became Chairman of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and of Raspberry Pi Trading.[28] January 2015 saw him also join the Digital Economy Council.[29]

Cleevely is Chairman of LabTech company OpenIOLabs, and became Non-Executive Director[30] when they were acquired by Cronin Group in 2017.

He is also on the advisory board for the Oxford Internet Institute.


After gaining a BSc in Cybernetics and Instrument Physics with Mathematics from the University of Reading, Cleevely gained a PhD in Telecommunications and Economic Development from Cambridge University.

Awards and honours[edit]

David Cleevely was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to technology and innovation.[31]

He is a Fellow[1] of the Royal Academy of Engineering,[1][32] and has held an Industrial Fellowship at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.[33] He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology,[34] where he gave the IEE Pinkerton Lecture, 'Seizing the Moment: The Far Reaching Effects of Broadband on Economy and Society' in November 2002,[35] and the 41st IEE Appleton Lecture 'Is there a future for research in telecommunications?' in January 2006 and the 46th IET Appleton Lecture 'What is the future for communications? What does it mean for the UK?' in January 2011.[36]

In June 2013, Cleevely became a Fellow Commoner of Queens' College, Cambridge.[37] and in October 2015 became an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge[38]


Title Year Authors Publisher Pages
Rural Telecoms Handbook: Equipment and Manufacturers 1992 Tim Hills, David Cleevely Analysys Publications
Regional Structure and Telecommunications Demand: A Case Study of Kenya (PhD thesis) 1982 D. D. Cleevely University of Cambridge
The Route to Advanced Communications 1991 David Cleevely, Stefan Stanislawski, Ade Ajibulu Analysys Publications 178
Global Turf Wars: Re-Inventing the Telecoms Operator for the Age of Global Competition 1999 Tim Hills, David Cleevely, Andrea Smith Analysis Publications 218
ATM Vendor & Operator Strategies 1993 David Cleevely, Peter Aknai, Ian Leslie Analysis Publications 180
The Far Reaching Effects of Broadband 2002 David Cleevely Institution of Engineering & Technology 415
Regulating the Telecoms Market: Competition and Innovation in the Broadband Economy 2003 Tim Hills, David Cleevely, Ross Pow Analysis Publications 35
Owning the Future: How Britain can Make it in a Fast-Changing World (contributor) 2014 Chuka Umunna, David Cleevely et al. Rowman and Littlefield International 137
Connect people, build infrastructure, grow clusters: How to make the most of UK innovation 2014 David Cleevely, Sherry Coutu, Hermann Hauser, Andy Richards Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy 18
Visions of Cambridge in 2065 (contributor) 2015 Dr Konstantina Stamati, Dr Rosamunde Almond, Dr Moira V. Faul Centre for Science and Policy, Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment 25


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  12. ^ "Select Committee on BBC Charter Review, Examination of Witnesses". Parliament Publications and Records. 11 January 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2009.
  13. ^ Tony, Quested (2 May 2012). "Torch Bearers of Tomorrow Grab Flame of Inspiration". Business Weekly. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  14. ^ "David Cleevely predicts $100bn companies, 1m people and underground system in Cambridge 2065 vision". Cambridge Evening News. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
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  22. ^ "Articles - A web of networks". www.ingenia.org.uk. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  23. ^ Bruce Palling (4 March 2011). "The Joy of Cooking Up A Plan". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  24. ^ Lorraine; Heller (11 October 2010). "Two-month-old venue is best in town". This Is London. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  25. ^ "Best UK restaurant 2010: The runners up". The Observer. 17 October 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  26. ^ "The Ledbury named Restaurant of the Year at National Restaurant Awards 2010". Big Hospitality. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
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  28. ^ "Raspberry Pi 'About' page".Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Membership of the Digital Economy Council".Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  30. ^ Quested, Tony (6 November 2017). "Cleevely boosts Cambridge LabTech business following acquisition". Business Weekly. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  31. ^ "No. 60367". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2012. p. 7.
  32. ^ "New Fellows". The Royal Academy of Engineering. July 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2009.
  33. ^ "David Cleevely". University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Archived from the original on 20 November 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
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  36. ^ "Appleton Lecture 2011: Speakers 2000–2011". Institution of Engineering and Technology. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  37. ^ "Queens College Directory of Fellows". Retrieved 27 May 2015
  38. ^ "Admission of new fellows". Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Retrieved 10 November 2015.