Head of Innovation Mapping

Juan Mateos-Garcia


Policy and Research

Join Date

September 2008

What I do

I am the Head of Innovation Mapping in Policy and Research. My job is to use new data sources and analytical methods to improve innovation policy and practice. 

I am particularly interested in how new technologies and industries emerge, on the way in which ideas spread across networks, and on the processes through which, as a society, we can manage this process of continuous change for the benefit of all.

Technically, I am interested in the potential of machine learning and network science as tools to understand our complex economy, and of reproducibility as a way of building trust around new data sources and methods, making them more suitable for policy application. I use Python and R.

I am currently leading Arloesiadur, a project to build a data analytics platform to inform innovation policy in Wales.

Other examples of data analytics projects I've worked in include TechNation 2016, several Nesta data blogs using new web datasets such as MeetupGitHub or Kickstarter, a project to Map the UK Games Industry using big data, and the Net Effect, where we used Twitter data and social network analysis  to measure connectivity at innovation events

Previously, I worked on a programme of research and policy development to understand data science skills, Next Gen, an independent review of education and skills for the video games and visual effects industries, A Manifesto for the Creative Economy, which proposed a plan to help the UK creative economy remain a global leader in digitised creative markets, and Creative Clusters and Innovation, which created the first geography of the British creative industries.

I am @JMateosGarcia in Twitter. You can also find me in GitHub.



Prior to joining Nesta, I worked as a researcher at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex, and CENTRIM at the University of Brighton.
I have a degree on economics, and an MSc (with distinction) in Science and Technology Policy from SPRU.
In the 3rd data pilot in Arloesiadur, our innovation analytics project for Welsh Government, we draw on the cutting edge of economic geography to analyse industrial clustering, measure the complexity of local economies in the UK, explore the links between complexity, productivity and wealth, and generate predictions about the future specialisations of local economies based on their current situation.
Juan Mateos-Garcia
Thursday, 29 September 2016