UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Mission-Oriented Innovation in Latin America with the Inter-American Development Bank

24 May 2017

Professor Mazzucato is the lead scientist for an Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) project exploring mission-oriented innovation in Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

IIPP partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank for new project

Innovation-led growth

The project will look at the way that strengthening innovation systems in Latin America are key to future growth opportuities. Starting from the insight that innovation has both a rate and a direction, the project will focus on how mission-oriented policies can help direct innovation towards solving key challenges being faced in Mexico, Colombia and Chile. 

The study will begin with a mapping of leading public and private institutions in each country, and how they link to the national innovation system. It will then focus on the ways in which organisational capacity building, and changes in the interactions between public and private actors, can help steer innovation-led growth. It will also explore how to refocus financial institutions to provide patient, long-term, strategic capital in order to facilitate this transformation. 


The project will include case studies on Mexico, Colombia and Chile. They will be developed in collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico, Universidad de Ibagué in Colombia and United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), based in Santiago, Chile).

It follows a report on the Brazilian innovation system by Professor Mazzucato and Dr Caetano Penna, commissioned by the Brazilian Government, completed in 2016. 

IIPP Director Professor Mariana Mazzucato said: “I’m delighted that the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose will be working closely with the Inter-American Development Bank to explore ways in which mission oriented innovation can drive transformational change in Latin America."

The Inter-American Development Bank is the main source of financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides loans, grants, guarantees, policy advice and technical assistance to the public and private sectors of its borrowing countries.

Project team

Professor Mazzucato is the lead scientist for the project, which builds heavily on her previous research. The IADB project team will be Vanderleia Radaelli and Jocelyn Olivari. National research teams in Colombia, Mexico and Chile will be led by Iván Hernandez (Universidad de Ibagué, Colombia); Gabriela Dutrenit (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico); and Mario Cimoli (CEPAL, Chile).