Head of UK Innovation Policy at Nesta

Jen Rae


Research, Analysis and Policy

Join Date

September 2013

What I do

Jen Rae is a policy advisor on innovation and economic growth for Nesta’s Policy and Research team.
She is responsible for producing evidence-based policy from Nesta’s wide range of research to advocate for the importance of innovation to economic development in the UK.


Prior to joining Nesta, Jen worked for regional organisations in the North East of England including One North East, the Regional Development Agency, undertaking a variety of policy roles from economic inclusion and regeneration to regional economic policy.
On behalf of the RDA network she led on national policy work with the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. She has also worked for the Arts Council.
Jen has taken part in a variety of voluntary projects across the world including election observation in El Salvador and recently spent a year with VSO in Cambodia assisting local NGOs with strategic planning.
Jen holds a BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Durham.
Last week's 'One Nation Science' speech from Jo Johnson, the new Science Minister, heralded a new direction for science and innovation policy, highlighting the role it might play in redressing the UK’s geographic imbalance. Although we await what this means for the Government's spending decisions, it’s a clear signal that the devolution debate is coming to innovation policy.
Jen Rae
Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Who cares about innovation? Actually, everyone does. But they care in different ways. To engage the public in debate about innovation we need to get better at communicating why it matters.
Jen Rae
Sunday, 15 June 2014