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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.

Demanding growth

This report explains why UK needs a recovery plan based on growth and innovation.

This report explains why UK needs a recovery plan based on growth and innovation.

Key findings:

  • Government policy should focus on supporting innovative sectors that have the potential for strong growth once the recovery begins.
  • Three areas for potential growth are especially promising: the green economy; creative industries; and healthcare. 
  • Success in these areas requires the government to support businesses through a combination of: infrastructure development, regulation that actively encourages growth, and the use of government procurement to stimulate demand.

Traditional intervention policies have sought to prop up old industries, but recovery from the recession will require a new approach from government.


This research suggests short-term fixes will not produce long-term economic growth. Instead Government should move away from corrective intervention towards creative intervention.


Our response to the recession should not seek to build national champions. But it should support new areas of emerging demand, where important long-term trends are giving rise to new markets.


The research looks to examples where this approach has worked and identifies to three areas for potential growth which are especially promising.



James Meadway with Juan Mateos-Garcia



Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Juan Mateos-Garcia

Director of Data Analytics Practice

Juan Mateos-Garcia was the Director of Data Analytics at Nesta.

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