About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Introducing: HackSTIR 2019

Are you a modern cartographer mapping the world of innovation activity? If you answered in the affirmative, then you should check out HackSTIR — a hack week Nesta is running later this year to share the latest tools and techniques being used to map innovation.

The 21st century innovation landscape is complex and dynamic, and those of us mapping it need modern tools and techniques to derive meaning from promising new data sources as they emerge. We do this through deploying state-of-the-art data science methods. For example, machine learning and interactive data visualisations can give us panoramic views of the systems we are mapping, even allowing us to map other entities such as ideas.

Ideas map

This map shows connections between research topics in Collective Intelligence, a new field of research that seeks to design more effective organisations and systems.

One question that has been plaguing us, is how we can help spread these tools and the best ways to use them. It’s why in October, we will be hosting the very first data science hack week for science, technology, and innovation research

HackSTIR is a five-day interactive workshop run from 21-25 October 2019, where participants will learn data science skills and open source technologies that can be used to collect, process and analyse science, technology and innovation datasets. The week will consist of interactive data science tutorials, collaborative project work, and guest seminars from domain experts.

Hack weeks emerged from the eScience Institute as an alternative to traditional conferences, having been shown to have positive outcomes for learning, research results and promoting positive attitudes toward open science. They provide an immersive environment for learning, knowledge exchange and rapid project prototyping. It’s an opportunity for participants with a range of skills and abilities to work together, and where community building can happen alongside the development of technical goals.

We already glimpsed some of the interest in innovation mapping. In March, over a hundred people attended our New Data for Innovation Policy conference to hear about and discuss the frontiers of big data and analytics for research and innovation decision making. The next step is to meet the demand.

If you are working at the intersection of science, technology or innovation research and want to learn new skills, then join us this year at HackSTIR.

Please note:

Applications are open until 5 July 2019.

There is a £150 registration fee for successful applicants, and attendees are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses. Financial support is available, based on need.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]


George Richardson

George Richardson

George Richardson

Head of Data Science, Data Analytics Practice

George is Head of Data Science in Nesta’s Data Analytics Practice.

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Elle Wolfhagen

Elle Wolfhagen

Elle Wolfhagen

Policy Communications Manager, Innovation Policy

Elle was the Policy Communications Manager for the Innovation Policy team.

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