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Innovation Population

What type of innovator are you? This report is the first stage of Nesta’s public opinion research looking at the UK’s views on innovation.

What type of innovator are you? This report is the first stage of our public opinion research looking at the UK’s views on innovation.

Key Findings

This first phase survey tested participants’ broad attitudes to innovation, technology and progress.

  • We found that attitudes to innovation are broadly favourable, but that there are significant differences across attitudes and behaviours as well as demographics
  • People most value innovation in areas that had a demonstrable impact on health, wellbeing and quality of life
  • The UK population can be grouped into five attitudinal groups or personas, distinguished by their attitudes to risk, pace of change, long-term planning and ethics

The work pulls together online surveys of over 6,000 UK adults and face-to-face focus groups with over 100 people in six locations across the country. The following innovator types were compiled as a result:

Innovation Futurists: This group are engaged in the innovation debate and see the benefits of change in all aspects of life.

Innovation Romantics: This group view new gadgets and technology as exciting and interesting but tend not to engage with innovation in the long term.

Innovation Creatives: Are typically younger than average, and display high levels of creativity and have a social perspective on life.

Innovation Realists: Appreciate innovation but aren’t excited about it, per se, placing greater importance on ethics and rights than new ideas.

Innovation Sceptics: Are concerned about the pace of change in society. They are cautious and practical, placing low value on new ideas until they are confident they have real-world benefits.

Nesta commissioned ComRes to undertake the research. Full tables of the data can be found online at www.ComRes.co.uk

Part of
Plan I

Authors

Jen Rae

Jen Rae

Jen Rae

Head of UK Innovation Policy

Jen Rae is a policy advisor on innovation and economic growth for Nesta’s Policy and Research team.

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Stian Westlake

Stian Westlake

Stian Westlake

Executive Director of Policy and Research

Stian led Nesta's Policy and Research team. His research interests included the measurement of innovation and its effects on productivity, the role of high-growth businesses in the e...

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Louise Marston

Louise Marston

Louise Marston

Director of Innovation Policy and Futures

Louise was Director of Innovation Policy and Futures within the Policy and Research team. She managed Nesta's work on innovation policy and technology futures. She previously worked ...

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