New global lab searches for more effective ways to increase innovation and economic growth
The first global collaboration dedicated to uncovering, testing and sharing the best ways to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and growth, was launched today. Called the Innovation Growth Lab, it will work with researchers and public and private organisations around the world to trial different support programmes and help to make them more impactful.
The Innovation Growth Lab is a global collaboration led by Nesta in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation in the US, the UK’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department, Innovate UK (formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board), the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis, the Danish Business Authority, the Australian Department of Industry and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
It has three aims:
- To improve the evidence base on the impact of different interventions to support innovation and business growth, creating practical insights for decision makers in public and private organisations.
- To encourage the development of new policy interventions; testing different designs of existing programmes or experimenting with radically novel types of schemes.
- To increase knowledge of the drivers and barriers to innovation, high-growth entrepreneurship and business growth.
Among the first questions being tested are:
- Whether incubators (programmes aimed at accelerating the growth and success of new companies) help startups survive or thrive.
- Whether a different science campus layout makes innovation more or less likely.
- Whether a new web platform can increase technology transfer from universities to SMEs.
The Innovation Growth Lab is unique in the approach it will follow, using randomised controlled trials (RCTS) to test whether interventions are having the desired impact. Randomised controlled trials have been adopted in a number of fields such as development, health, education or social policy. But to date they have been underutilised in the area of innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship.
Albert Bravo-Biosca, lead on the Innovation Growth Lab, said “Every year governments around the world spend billions on policy interventions to support innovation and business growth. But we don’t really know much about how effective these are because there’s little evidence. The Innovation Growth Lab aims to contribute to fill this gap by using randomised controlled trials to find out what works and what doesn’t.”
The launch follows the funding of ten pilot research projects by Nesta and the Kauffman Foundation as part of the IGL Grants programme. The Innovation Growth Lab is now inviting new research proposals for the second round of the IGL Grants programme. Applications are open until 5th January 2015 via www.innovationgrowthlab.org
Notes to editors
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About the Innovation Growth Lab: The Innovation Growth Lab is a new global collaboration that brings together researchers and private and public organizations supporting innovation and growth. It will trial different interventions and build the evidence base on the most effective approaches to increase innovation, support high-growth entrepreneurship and accelerate business growth, by using randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to find out what works and what doesn’t.
Note that the views of IGL do not necessarily represent those of its partners.