UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Current projects

The UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose works with the Mission-Oriented Innovation Network (MOIN) on specialised research topics, applying mission-led thinking to each project.

Policy evaluation aimed at transformative change

MOIN ongoing research
One of the most intriguing questions around challenge-driven and mission-oriented policies is the question of how to evaluate policies aiming at transformative changes. Existing evaluation frameworks and tools are focussed on understanding whether a policy instrument fixed the specific failure and efficiency of markets has been increased. Within such frameworks, innovations and challenge-driven policies are nearly impossible to implement. Together with the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, we are mapping emerging alternative frameworks and tools to evaluate public value resulting from transformative policies. 

Read more about our work on policy evaluation


A Mission-Oriented UK Industrial Strategy report launch
Setting a mission is a highly complex undertaking. Mission-design requires rethinking policy cycle in order to get various public, private and third sector actors cooperate on cross-sectoral challenges. We are working with Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation at the Prime Minister Office in United Arab Emirates on mission-design processes and monitoring practices.

Read more about our work on missions in the UK

National Investment Banks

Nicola Sturgeon and Mariana Mazzucato
We worked with the Scottish National Investment Bank to create a mission-oriented framework for the newly established bank. IIPP's report titled A mission-oriented framework for the Scottish National Bank presents a framework for guiding the bank’s investments towards tackling key societal challenges and promoting transformational change across Scotland’s economy. Co-authored by Mariana Mazzucato and Laurie Macfarlane, the paper is the latest contribution to IIPP’s path-breaking research on state investment banks.

Download the report

Digital transformation

Estonia's digital transformation
With MOIN digital agencies, we are researching emerging digital transformation paradigms in the public sector. Such ideas and practices as government as a platform need to be better studied to understand how various ways of doing digital transformation result in different outcomes for the public. We are mapping how countries such as Estonia, the UK, Italy, and others implement in highly diverse ways digital government.

Read our blog on Estonia's digital government

Green transition

Green transition
The green transition must go beyond independent initiatives and discrete approaches, and be characterised by a new lens for economy-wide growth. The climate crisis can be both a carrot and a stick to create a new direction for the global economy. Green growth is more than just a low carbon transition; climate change impacts are felt from the financial sector to the creative economy, and from conservation to healthcare. Change needs to be cross-sectoral, harnessing supply and demand, innovation and procurement, and public and private actors. Our collaborations with Climate KIC, Greater Manchester Combined Authority in the UK and Mondragon Vally in Spain develop and test new mission-oriented frameworks for the green transition.

Read about our work with Manchester

Space missions and public purpose

Space missions
Public activities in space are undergoing significant change, with more than 60 space faring nations and a growth in the number of private sector organisations interested in the space economy. As a consequence, the space sector is rapidly evolving in its 'ecosystem', and under pressure to deliver socio-economic impacts at a reasonable cost. In our collaboration with European Space Agency, we are particularly interested in how ‘public value’ is generated in space missions and the technical capabilities that underpin and drive mission driven innovation and the changing role of public R&D in the space sector. 

Learn more

To find out more about IIPP’s research, please visit our research pages. If you are interested in co-creating new research themes with us, please contact: r.kattel@ucl.ac.uk