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.

The highly successful Behavioural Insights Team, also known as the government’s nudge unit, is joining forces with Nesta to create a new company.

The Behavioural Insights Team was set up in 2010 to apply knowledge and understanding of behavioural sciences to help people make better choices for themselves and society. 

Announced this morning, the new joint venture has been created through a partnership between the Cabinet Office, Nesta and the Behavioural Insight Team’s employees. The new venture will eventually join us at our London-based offices.

Recent examples of the Behavioural Insight Team’s success include:

  • using a randomised control trial (RCT) to measure how successful different approaches were in encouraging more people to join the Organ Donor Register
  • working with HMRC to test new forms of reminder letters to increase the rate of tax repayment

Since launching three and a half years ago, the team has received an increasing number of requests to apply its knowledge to public policy problems both here in the UK and overseas. Through the joint venture, there is huge potential for the team to grow and work with governments – at city and national level - and charitable and commercial organisations with a social purpose, both in the UK and internationally.

We are a seasoned investor in early stage companies with a social purpose, both through our investments arm and as the home of organisations such as the Alliance for Useful Evidence and Bethnal Green Ventures, which is why we are so excited to be joining forces with a team that demonstrates the impact smart innovation can achieve. We are very much looking forward to helping the Behavioural Insights Team grow.