Our specialist enterprises

Skip to content

A key role for Nesta has been to pave the way for others to succeed; to disrupt markets and services for the better, in pursuit of social goals. As we begin work on our new strategy, we plan to continue this role through the work of our specialist enterprises which are here to help you with your own innovation challenges.


Our history in shaping the innovation ecosystem

Our work incubating States of Change and establishing the Alliance for Useful Evidence has promoted government innovation, helping civil servants design more human-centred solutions and better use of evidence to inform policymaking and practice.

We’ve also teamed up with international partners to share our knowledge and expertise of the innovation ecosystem further afield. In 2017 we helped launch Nesta Italia, an independent, not-for-profit foundation operating under license to use the name from Nesta, and backed by Compagnia di San Paolo, one of Italy’s largest and oldest philanthropic foundations. The foundation is working to grow new ideas to address Italy’s most pressing societal challenges using our proven innovation methods.

How can we help you?

As we focus our activity on three new social innovation missions, a few key specialist enterprises that we have incubated will continue to support and shape the innovation ecosystem in the UK and beyond. Their activity will have important benefits for our missions – with opportunities to leverage their expertise and blend their methods with others in pursuit of impact – and will help keep Nesta at the forefront of innovation globally.

Over the past decade these teams have all grown through new sources of revenue and partners, and now have global reputations in their fields. Get in touch with our specialist enterprises below to find out how they can help you with:

  • how to stimulate innovation through challenge prizes
  • how to run experiments
  • how to accelerate and improve the quality of change in complex systems through people-powered approaches

How to stimulate innovation through challenge prizes

Nesta Challenges

Nesta_Challenges_MAIN LOGO Master transparent.png

By offering financial rewards (alongside expertise, networks and public awareness) to whoever can first or most effectively solve a problem, challenge prizes de-risk the creation of breakthrough innovations. Nesta Challenges will continue to draw on its expertise and reputation in prize design to help Nesta and other organisations around the world to promote innovation and help diverse innovators thrive.

How to run experiments

Innovation Growth Lab


To meet productivity goals and help economies be more innovative, a more experimental approach to policymaking is needed. The Innovation Growth Lab, an initiative led by Nesta in collaboration with government partners, works globally to promote experimentation and ensure that innovation and growth policy is informed by new ideas and robust evidence.

How to accelerate and improve the quality of change in complex systems through people-powered approaches

People Powered Results

People Powered Results Logo

Place-based and people-focused approaches have too often been overlooked in systems-change efforts, a key reason why top-down reform alone often fails to achieve its potential. People Powered Results will continue to work with local and national organisations and people to create the conditions and cultures required to rapidly adopt new innovations and scale what works.