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Nesta backs new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, in the UK and beyond. We focus on areas where the combination of digital technology, empowered individuals, and better use of data and evidence can have the biggest impact.

Between 2017 and 2020, we are focusing on a small number of fields where there are big challenges and our capacities are suited to the action that’s needed.

Health

How do we help a health and care system facing serious financial pressures because of an ageing population living with more long-term conditions? Our focus will be on enabling people to get on top of their health using tools such as peer-to-peer support and digital technologies, while also working with frontline staff to help whole systems to change.

Education

How do we prepare young people for future work in a more automated economy where jobs could be very different? Our focus will be on teaching human skills like creativity, collaboration and problem-solving, and backing digital technologies that help children learn.

The creative economy and arts and culture

How do we protect and grow a strong creative economy and help the arts cope with pressures on funding? Our focus will be on maximising growth in the creative economy and helping arts organisations generate new sources of income, often using digital.

Government innovation

How can governments deliver more with less and engage their citizens more effectively? We will focus on helping governments adapt to the pressures of austerity and seize the opportunities of digital, data and people power to solve problems and empower citizens.

Innovation policy

How do we create the conditions for innovation to fuel economic growth and better meet social needs? We’ll focus on helping governments to design better policies that can drive innovation in businesses, universities and society, using the best available tools for both analysis and action.

Read more on what we want to achieve between 2017-2020