UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


New project to rethink health innovation with the Open Society Foundations

24 May 2017

IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato is beginning a new project (2017–2019) with the Open Society Foundations to explore alternative innovation models in health.

Institute launches new project to rethink health innovation with the Open Society Foundations

Rethinking the Economics of Medical Innovation’

The project will consider how to create a new innovation model that is rooted in a broader view of the purpose of medical innovation. It will be based on:

  • Connecting the economics of innovation to the economics of human rights 
  • Rethinking public value beyond the public good 
  • A reimagined role for the interactions between public, private, and third sector health organisations 
  • The potential of mission-oriented policy to drive future health innovation

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, said: “Despite substantial sums of public and private money invested in research and development, the private, profit and patent-driven model that dominates the field of medical and pharmaceutical innovation is failing to meet critical medical needs, secure sufficient therapeutic advance, or offer good value for money. These outcome failures reflect system failures: a narrow focus on drugs, profits and patents, rather than health, public value and patients; and a dysfunctional relationship between public and private sector actors. The project will make steps towards developing an alternative model based on a mission-oriented approach and rooted in public value.”

The two-year project is part of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose’s research agenda to develop a new framework for mission-oriented innovation policy that both addresses complex societal challenges and acts as an engine of more sustainable and inclusive growth. 

Project scope

The project originates from a workshop organized by the OSF and Professor Mazzucato (while based at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex in October 2015). 

Project team

The current project team includes Victor Roy, IIPP Research Fellow, and Azzi Momenghalibaf, OSF Project Officer. 

Further reading