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One reason for slow progress in practice is the complexity of delivering on these new visions for innovation policy. Take the pervasive issue of artificial intelligence — innovation policy has a hand in everything from shaping the development of the technology, to developing a workforce that is prepared to capitalise on the opportunities AI could offer, to ensuring that the benefits of AI reach the most marginalised consumer.

This new innovation policy agenda reaches across and beyond government. It requires new policy tools and the ability to keep pace with new trends in technology and globalisation.

Nesta will champion the next generation of innovation policies that shape technologies and global relationships by exploring new global trends in technology and innovation to improve decision makers’ ability to continuously anticipate and exploit them for economic and public benefit.

Our work in this area includes...

Regulating new technologies

How can governments and regulators design a regulatory system that can meet the speed and scale of the disruption presented by emerging technologies like artificial intelligence? We’ve set out new principles for anticipatory regulation, and are learning in real time how firms, cities and government need to work together to capture the benefits of new technologies like drones in our Flying High programme and through our projects supported by the Regulatory Pioneers Fund.

Finding and analysing new innovation methods

Building on past research on emergent innovation methods such as crowdfunding, seed accelerator programmes, frugal innovation and experimentation, we’re exploring the next wave of innovation policy and management. For instance, how innovation test beds can enable policymakers to safely realise the potential of new technologies, how AI is ‘reinventing invention’ and how regulators are using tools such as sandboxes to adopt a more anticipatory approach to regulating new technologies.

Preparing the next generation of innovation policymakers

We’re working with innovation agencies around the world to compare approaches, shape strategies and improve results. Through our Global Innovation Policy Accelerator Programme we’re building a cohort of innovation policymakers who can shape and deliver the next generation of innovation policies, worked with teams from Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, South East Asia, India and Brazil. The programme combines a leading edge curriculum with a collaborative approach to problem-solving and developing policy entrepreneurs.