Nusa Fain

Adjunct Assistant Professor


Nusa Fain is an Assistant Professor at Smith School of Business, specializing in entrepreneurship and innovation management, and is currently the Director of Smith's Master of Innovation & Entrepreneurship program.

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Academic Area

  • Strategy and Organizations

Interest Topics

Faculty Details


Full Bio

Nusa Fain is an Assistant Professor at Smith School of Business, specializing in entrepreneurship and innovation management, and is currently the Director of Smith's Master of Innovation & Entrepreneurship program.

She completed her PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on process management within innovative organizations at University of Ljubljana (2010). Prior to joining Smith School of Business, Dr. Fain was a lecturer at Strathclyde Business School (UK), where she taught Managing Innovation, Strategic Global Marketing and Integrated Marketing Communications.

She has extensive consulting experience within the field of product development and innovation management with a wide diversity of firms (including oil and gas, manufacturing and retail). Her research interests are two-fold. She is exploring implementation of open innovation practices into mature organizations and looking into pedagogies that support the development of entrepreneurial mindsets in design students.

At Smith School of Business, Dr. Fain teaches entrepreneurship and new venture creation courses in the Commerce program and supports the delivery of content for the individual projects on the Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship program.

Academic Degrees

Ph.D. Innovation Management
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2010)

PG Diploma in Advanced Academic Studies
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom (2014)

BSc Marketing Management and Marketing Communication
Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (2004)

Academic Experience

Smith School of Business, Queen's University
Director, Master’s of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MMIE) (2021 - Present)  
Adjunct Assistant Professor (2018 - Present)  

Strathclyde Business School, The University of Strathclyde
Assistant Professor (tenure-track) (2012-2018)

School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, City University London
Commercialization Analyst/Howden Industrial Fellow (2011-2012)

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana 
Researcher, Laboratory for Computer-Aided Design (2010-2011)
Young researcher, Laboratory for Computer-Aided Design (2006-2010)



Selected Refereed Journal Publications

Fain N., Wagner B. and Kay N.M. Driving innovation through service provision – long life cycle products in manufacturing contexts. 2018. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Special Issue on Technology and the Balancing of Corporate Growth with Sustainability. Vol. 130, pp.3-13.

Wagner B. and Fain N. Regulatory influences on innovation in the public sector: the role of regulatory regimes. 2018. Public Management Review. Vol.20, No.8, pp.1205-1227.

Fain N., Vukasinovic N. and Wagner B. A project-based approach to learning: comparative study of two disciplines. 2016. Design and Technology Education: An International Journal. 21, 1, pp.51-60.

Zavbi R., Fain N. and Rihtarsic J. Using Computer Generated Design Aids to Facilitate Alternative Concept Embodiments. 2016. International Journal of Engineering Education. 32, 2, pp.762 – 771.

Cok, V, Fain, N, Vukasinovic, N & Zavbi, R. 'Multicultural Issues of Product Development Education in Virtual Teams'. 2015. International Journal of Engineering Education, Special issue on innovative teaching methods, vol.31, iss. 3, 863-873.

Fain Nusa and Wagner Beverly. R&D-marketing integration in innovation – does culture matter? 2014. European Business Review, Vol. 26, Iss: 2, pp.169 – 187.

Barić Ana, Jelovac Dejan, Fain Nuša. Barriers in multicultural business communication: an empirical study of Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 2013. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.6, no.3, pp.18-37.

FAIN Nuša and KLINE Miro. The dynamics of multicultural NPD teams in virtual environments. 2013. Journal of Technology and Design Education. Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 273-288.

ZAVBI Roman, FAIN Nusa and RIHTARSIC Janez. Evaluation of a method and a computer tool for generating concept designs. 2013. Journal of Engineering Design. Vol. 24, issue 4, pp. 257-271.

FAIN Nuša, KLINE Miro and DUHOVNIK Jože. Integrating R&D and Marketing in New Product Development.
Strojniski vestnik – Journal of Mechanical Engineering. Vol. 57, iss.7-8, 599-609.

FAIN Nuša, SCHOORMANS Jan and DUHOVNIK Jože. The effect of R&D-marketing integration on NPD success - The case of SMEs in the growing economy of Slovenia. International Journal of Technology Management, 2011, vol.56, no 1.


Courses Taught




Queen’s University

COMM305: Introduction to Entrepreneurship



COMM405: New Business Development 



COMM131: Introduction to marketing



COMM302: Launching new ventures



MMIE808: Individual market research project course



MMIE908: Individual Innovation Launch Project Course



MMA890: Innovation and Entrepreneurship



MMAI890: AI Innovation and Entrepreneurship


University of Strathclyde

Marketing Communications (UG)



Digital Marketing and Convergent Marketing Communications




Marketing Communications in the Digital Age (UG)



Managing Integrated Marketing Communications: theory and practice (4th year - honours)



Integrated Marketing Communications (PG)



Strategic Global Marketing (PG)



Managing Innovation


Loughborough University

Marketing in design (PG) – guest lecture


City University London

European Global Product Realization


University of Ljubljana

European Global Product Realization



Marketing in new product development (company training workshops)



Marketing in new product development (UG) – visiting scholar



Integrated Marketing Communications (UG) – visiting scholar



Selected Conference Proceedings and Presentations

Tachtampa C., Araujo Redbird, J. and Fain N. (2021). Indigeneity in entrepreneurship: Exploring the role of

Indigenous knowledge in building sustainable entrepreneurial practices for First Nations. EMERGING THEMES

IN INDIGENOUS BUSINESS, ASPER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Inaugural Research Conference, March 18 & 19, 2021

Fain N., and Vukasinovic N. (2020). Entrepreneurial Mindset Development in business and engineering education – an experiment.  Proceedings of Design 2020. Zagreb, Croatia.

Fain N., Rod M. and Bohemia E. (2019) Entrepreneurial Mindset: a longitudinal study of three different teaching approaches to developing it. Proceedings of the Academy of Design innovation Management Conference 2019, London, UK

Muhos M., Wagner B., Fain N. and Saarela M. (2018). Exploring the early stages of growth in a Slovenian Health-Technology startup. In: Proceedings of the 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Portugal, September 2018.

Canik, Y. Fain, N., Bohemia E. Telalbasic, I. and Tewes, V. (2018). Integrating individual knowledge into innovation processes of R&D alliances. Proceedings of Design 2018 15th International Design Conference, May 2018, 1805-1814. 10.21278/idc.2018.0238.

Fain, N, Wagner, B, Kay, N & Vukasinovic, N (2017). Bespoke innovation: filling the gap between classic and user-centred open innovation. in E Bohemia, C de Bont & LS Holm (eds), Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy 2017: Research Perspectives on Creation Intersection. vol. 1, Conference Proceedings of the Design Management Academy, vol. 90, pp. 147-154, Design Management Academy Conference 2017, Hong Kong, China, 7-9 June.

Huang, L., Wagner, B., & Fain, N. (2016). Open innovation adoption from strategy to practice: implications from organizational ambidexterity and dynamic capabilities. Paper presented at 3rd Annual World Open Innovation Conference, Barcelona, Spain.

Fain N., Vukasinovic N. and Zavbi R. (2016). The influence of product complexity on team performance within NPD. In: Proceedings of the Design 2016 14th International Design Conference, May 2016.

Grant D. A., Russell G., Wagner B. and Fain N (2016) Optimising the process of product development by collaborating and thinking visually – Co-creation within Howden. In: Proceedings of the Design 2016 14th International Design Conference, May 2016.

Kay N., Fain N., and Wagner B. (2015). Exploring inside-in open innovation: a case study. 2nd World Open Innovation conference, Santa Clara, November 2015.

Grant D., Fain N., Wagner B. and Kay N. (2015). Open innovation and the view from both ends of the bridge:  a case study in new product development. 2nd World Open Innovation conference, Santa Clara, November 2015.

Fain N., Wagner B. and Vukasinovic N. (2015). A project-based approach to learning: comparative study of two disciplines. Learn x Design = PreK-16 Education conference, Chicago, July 28-30.

Fain N., Wagner B. and Lemke F. (2014). Exploring collaboration in product development. In: Proceedings of

19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference "Design Management in an Era of Disruption"


Grants & Funding

Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development Ontario Microcredentials Challenge: Certificate in Indigenous Leadership, Innovation & Management (2022) – CAD282,502 (Co-investigator)

SSHRC Partnership Exchange Grand with GVQ (2021) – CAD24,210 (Principal Investigator)

Queen’s University and Queen’s University Faculty Association, Fund for Scholarly Research and Creative Work and Professional Development for Adjuncts (2019,2020, 2021) – awarded funding to attend ADIM 2019, Design 2020, and to complete professional training with MIT Sloan online and Babson college.

I. McLeod Term Research Assistantship Grant (2019) – CAD5,090.40 (in collaboration with Elspeth Murray)
Marketing Research Consultancy Project with Offsite Solutions Scotland (2017) – CAD140,000 (£81,000) (Co-Investigator)

Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Howden Group (2014-2016) – CAD210,000 (£123,000) (Principal investigator)

Turner Group consultancy project (2016) – CAD32,000 (£19,000) (Principal Investigator)

Scottish Enterprise Open Innovation Initiative (2016-2018) –CAD60,000 (£35,000) (Co-Investigator)

Water Industry Commission for Scotland consultancy project (2016) – CAD19,000 (£11,000) (Co-Investigator)


External Positions Held

General Secretary and member of the Organising Committee for Design Management Academy Conference 2017 and 2019. Also chaired a session on Open Innovation.

Steering Committee of Design Society Special Interest Group on Design Management (2015 - present).

Academic Committee and Track Chair for LearnxDesign = PreK-16 Education conference 2015.
External Proposal Reviewer for eCOST - European Cooperation in Science and Technology (2015 – present).

Workshop Organizing Committee and Academic Committee member for 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference "Design Management in an Era of Disruption" (2014).

Scientific Advisory Board and Track Chair for International Design Conference (2008 - present).

International scientific review board for Engineering & Product Design Education Conferences (2010 - present).

Steering Committee member of AHRC Brief Encounters Network (Arts and humanities research Council funded).  



Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Marketing Management, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Journal of Engineering Design, Creativity and Innovation Management Journal, European Business Review.