Innovation and Industrial strategy
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Professor Mazzucato has worked closely with governments, including the European Commission, on creating dynamic innovation systems, that include both public and private investment across the entire innovation chain (including both blue sky basic research, applied research and patient downstream finance, as well as demand side policies like procurement). Her book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private versus public sector myths looked at the history of innovation agencies, and public funds in stimulating the most high risk and capital intensive radical innovations. Given this risk-taking role, a key question she asks is how to make sure that both the risks and rewards are socialized. Her book Mission Economy: a moonshot guide to changing capitalism has gone further to consider the lessons of purpose-oriented innovation policies that transform the vertical side away from sectors and towards challenges that require many different sectors to invest and innovate. Such challenges can stem from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to broader notions of inclusion and from climate change to an ageing society, leading to new solutions and to innovation-led, sustainable and inclusive growth. By connecting top-down direction and bottom-up innovation projects, mission-oriented innovation can increase the impact of the full innovation system, from R&D to commercialization, and from supply-side to demand-side (e.g., procurement) policies, grasp the public imagination and make real progress on complex challenges. Professor Mazzucato’s work on innovation includes how to build innovation capacity and capabilities inside public sector institutions.