Economics - Innovation - Inclusive Growth - Public Purpose
  • "Mazzucato has stormed the global economic debate"
    Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean

  • "Not every day you can talk direction of growth with one of the most outstanding economists of our generation”
    Chancellor Christian Kern, Austria

  • Mazzucato with German Vice-Chancellor & Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel, SPD Chairman Philip Oppermann & Deputy Chairman Hubertus Heil before her keynote to SPD Business conference

  • “That powerful insight is something she explained very clearly in her book. It’s also the insight that lies behind the creation of the Technology Strategy Board.”
    Rt Hon David Willetts, former UK Science Minister

  • "I have been greatly encouraged by the work of Mariana Mazzucato" - Rt Hon Vince Cable, former UK Business Secretary

  • "Professor Mazzucato's vision has had a significant impact on current policy discussions in the Netherlands on innovation policy, specifically in relation to the role of mission-oriented research" - Drs JK Weaselling, Deputy Director General for Enterprise and Innovation, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs

  • The Entrepreneurial State is cited at the US Senate Appropriations Committee by Dr Francis S Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

  • “She… has helped to persuade me to shift our approach in the UK” - David Willetts, Former UK Science Minister
    Watch the University of Sussex impact film

Policy Impact

Mariana Mazzucato’s work is challenging and changing the political discourse on the role of the state in driving innovation. She has advised policymakers around the world on how to achieve economic growth that is both smart and inclusive.

She is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors, the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Economics of Innovation and the advisory panel for SITRA (Finnish Innovation Agency). In recent years she has been invited to discuss her work with governments and policymakers in Germany, the USA, Italy, Canada, Brazil, China, Chile, Argentina, the UK, Spain, Norway and others, including global financial organisations such as the OECD and the World Bank.In 2016, Alicia Barcéna, Executive Secretary of the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said, “Professor Mazzucato has stormed the global economic debate”.

Her highly acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths has been cited by the Director of the US National Institutes for Health during a hearing of the US Senate Appropriations Committee in April 2014 as evidence of the state’s critical role in financing innovation and in 2015 she gave evidence to a US Senate Forum of the Middle-Class Prosperity Project.

Policy areas

Public Banks

Health Innovation

Green Innovation

Space

IIPP Policy

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), founded by Professor Mariana Mazzucato, aims to develop a path-breaking framework for creating, nurturing and evaluating public value in order to achieve economic growth that is more innovation-led, inclusive and sustainable. IIPP will lead a debate about the direction of economic growth and governments’ use of mission-oriented policies to confront the world’s most urgent challenges: from climate change to inequality and the problems facing ageing societies. Work will feed into policies on innovation, financial reform, institutional change and sustainable development. A cornerstone of IIPP’s research is that markets are not created out of thin air: they are outcomes of the interactions between different actors in the economy, operating in the public, private and voluntary sectors. In this context, public policy is not just about fixing market failures, but about actively co-creating and shaping markets. Teaching and research programmes will help public organisations refocus themselves to become more mission-led, driven by public purpose, and able to welcome and manage the explorative and risk-taking processes that structural change and transformation require. Policy-makers focusing on public versus private are asking the wrong question. Limiting the public sector’s role to de-risking the private sector is like playing with half the team on the bench. Taking risks, building capacity, and welcoming experimentation are central to the ability of all partners to co-shape our future economies, so that technological and institutional innovations can be directed towards tackling society’s most pressing challenges.

Mission oriented innovation for the SDGs

Mission oriented innovation for the SDGs

Prof Mazzucato’s ground-breaking work to implement mission-oriented innovation has recently been taken up by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a body of the United Nations, to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDSN are committed to supporting the devliery of SDGs at local, national and international levels, and see mission-oriented innovation as a framework for delivering purposeful innovation. There is a great need to combine understandings of sociology, politics, economics and technology to solve the problems articulated in the SDGs, as well as to make the conscious decision to point innovation towards them. This is exactly what a well-designed mission can achieve and what the SDSN Networks are well positioned to help bring about. The SDSN Networks are already bringing those knowledge disciplines together and helping to transform universities so that they will be ready to work in a coordinated, transversal way. This involves helping them to align their incentives to develop a culture of thinking outside of the box so that working across disciplines to connect natural and social sciences becomes commonplace, and innovative alliances using the entire research and value chain can be harnessed in the pursuit of solving today’s most difficult global challenges.

Related links:

Building mission oriented public banks that focus on problems not sectors, an example from Scotland

Building mission oriented public banks that focus on problems not sectors, an example from Scotland

In her capacity as a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors, Professor Mazzucato advised First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on the role that a new national investment bank could play in supporting the Scottish Government’s vision for smart and inclusive growth. With this advice, in September 2017, the Scottish Government announced plans to establish a new Scottish National Investment Bank. Benny Higgins, CEO of Tesco Bank, was appointed to lead the work to develop an evidence-based implementation plan, and convened a small Advisory Group, which included Professor Mazzucato. The implementation plan, launched at a press conference in Edinburgh on February 28, 2018, sets out a roadmap for creating a new Scottish National Investment Bank that will play a leading role driving growth and innovation, helping to transform Scotland’s economy. The plan has been shaped by Professor Mazzucato’s path-breaking research on different types of ‘patient finance’, including two reports co-authored with IIPP Research Fellow Laurie Macfarlane, which examine how state investment banks are driving economic growth and innovation in different countries around the world. The reports look at both opportunities for such banks as well as the challenges they face, learning mistakes from the past.

Related links:

A mission oriented approach to industrial strategy

A mission oriented approach to industrial strategy

Mariana Mazzucato has been instrumental in the introduction of mission-oriented thinking to the UK government’s Industrial Strategy, initially proposing the concept during the consultation on the Green Paper proposals which were adopted when then Secretary of State Greg Clark launched the Industrial Strategy White Paper. Mariana formed the UCL Commission on Mission-Oriented Innovation & Industrial Strategy (MOIIS) chaired by herself and former minister for Universities and Science, Lord David Willetts, to advise the government on how this novel approach can be implemented. The government set out four grand challenge areas that the Industrial Strategy should address whilst increasing productivity and prosperity; clean growth, the future of mobility, artificial intelligence & data, and healthy ageing. The MOIIS commission has been working closely with the policy teams in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to frame bold but achievable missions in each of these areas and to develop plans of how they could be delivered. IIPP were delighted to receive the backing of the Prime Minister Theresa May who cited the work of the MOIIS commission when announcing 4 missions, one under each grand challenge, in May 2018.

Related links:

A mission oriented approach to European Commission innovation policy

A mission oriented approach to European Commission innovation policy

The European Commission have announced that Professor Mazzucato’s ‘missions’ will be at the core of ambitious new €100bn EU proposal. Known as ‘Horizon Europe’, the proposal aims to keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation, building on the success of the previous programme, Horizon 2020. Mariana’s vision, entitled “Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the European Union – A problem-solving approach to fuel innovation-led growth”, sets out how these missions can give purpose to innovation policy and drive citizen engagement in research and development. Mazzucato’s missions aim to inspire people by solving some of the biggest challenges society faces, from climate change to inequality, driving collaboration across different industries and bodies in both private and public sectors. Missions are more concrete than broad challenges, in that they have clear time-bound targets where the question ‘did we reach the mission?’ can be answered yes or no. They require what Mazzucato calls a ‘market-shaping’ framework rather than the more traditional and passive ‘market-fixing’ one that mainstream economists are wedded to.

Related links:

Recent Policy Impact

POLICY IMPACT IN THE USA


Professor Mazzucato’s book The Entreprenuerial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths has challenged the established political ...more

POLICY IMPACT IN THE UK


In the UK, representatives of the three main political parties have spoken about the influence of Professor Mazzucato’s work on their policies. ...more

POLICY IMPACT IN EUROPE


At the European level, Professor Mazzucato has recently been a member of two high level task forces advising on innovation and smart ...more

Policy Impact

Mazzucato’s key role in Scotland’s new public investment bank

EC report on Mission-Oriented Research & Innovation in the EU

Influencing discussions
on UK industrial policy

Public debate with Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern

Talk to SPD with German
Economic Minister Gabriel

Keynote to
United Nations ECLAC

Report for Brazilian Government on Innovation Policy

Evidence to US Senate Forum
with Senator Elizabeth Warren

Talk to the European
Investment Bank

Selected Talks to policymakers

SPD Business Conference

SPD Business Conference

Berlin, Germany -Keynote to German SPD Business Conference with Economic and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and an introduction by SPD Chairman Phillip Oppermann.
Event website.

Innovate UK 2014

Innovate UK 2014

London, UK – Keynote for the leading, multi-sector, networking, conference and exhibition event for business, organised by the Innovate UK: Technology Strategy Board. Event website.

Policy Papers

BBC: From Crowding Out to Dynamising In

BBC: From Crowding Out to Dynamising In

Chapter for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism Report, “Is there Still a Place for Public Service Television? Effects of the Changing Economics of Broadcasting.

Policy Reports