UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Leading innovation scholars Carlota Perez and Rainer Kattel join IIPP

31 May 2017

Leading innovation thinkers Carlota Perez and Rainer Kattel join UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Policy.

Leading innovation scholars Carlota Perez and Rainer Kattel join IIPP

IIPP’s ambition is to challenge economic orthodoxy in research and policy-making through focusing on the creation and measurement of public value. This requires both radical new thinking about the role of policy in economic systems and also fundamental shifts in how we understand the role of governance inside public institutions, so that public purpose can be better justified and nurtured. Perez and Kattel will make a substantial contribution to this agenda. 

Mariana Mazzucato said: “I’m delighted that two of the world’s leading thinkers about innovation and socio-technological change have agreed to join IIPP.  Carlota Perez has changed the way we think about the economics of innovation, the history of technological change and the relationship between finance and innovation. Rainer Kattel is breaking new ground in his work on innovation and public governance. They will make a substantial contribution to the Institute’s research agenda.”

Carlota Perez, IIPP Honorary Professor 

Carlota Perez is internationally renowned for her research on the socio-economic impact of technical change across history.

Her work has highlighted the key role that active government policies play in enabling the full deployment of technological revolutions, overcoming the financialisation and inequality of the early decades of each cycle. She has argued that, in the same way that suburbanisation shaped mass consumption and unleashed mass production, policies directed to ‘smart green growth’ could today unleash the full potential of ICT to revitalise the economy and spread social well-being.

She is author of the influential Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages (Elgar 2002) and is currently leading the research project ‘Beyond the Technological Revolution’, about the role historically played by governments in the full deployment of technological revolutions. Her aim is to show the need to shape our current context to unleash innovation in the 21st century for the benefit of all.

Rainer Kattel, IIPP Visiting Professor 

Rainer Kattel is a research professor at Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia. He has led the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Estonia, for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region.

He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues and his research interests also include public sector innovation, predictive governance and financialization.

In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy. He also has served on public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation and worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission.

His forthcoming book Innovation Bureaucracy is the first book length study of public organizations in charge of innovation (co-authored with Wolfgang Drechsler and Erkki Karo; Yale University Press, 2017).

Carlota Perez said: “I am very happy to contribute to the new Institute for Innovation and Public Policy at UCL. We are currently at a juncture in the techno-economic cycle in which creative destruction and the political and social turbulence that accompanies it are affecting people’s lives deeply. Such challenging times require bold and imaginative institutional and policy innovation, and it is a privilege to be able to join Mariana Mazzucato and her team to work towards this end.” 

Rainer Kattel said: “IIPP is an amazing opportunity to challenge mainstream thinking in both economics and public governance. Its great strength is that it targets both visionary innovation policy but also practical issues of how to make innovation work better for ordinary citizens.”