UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Professor Mariana Mazzucato to launch new Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at UCL

31 May 2017

UCL has appointed award-winning economist Professor Mariana Mazzucato to establish and direct a new Institute within The Bartlett.

Mariana Mazzucato

Professor Mazzucato joined UCL on 1st March to establish the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.

Mazzucato is author of the highly-acclaimed book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem 2013; Public Affairs, 2015) and winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy and the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis. She has advised policymakers around the world on how to deliver ‘smart’, inclusive and sustainable growth and in 2013 she was named as one of the ‘3 most important thinkers about innovation’ in the New Republic.

The new Institute will build on Mazzucato’s work on the Entrepreneurial State and Mission-Oriented Innovation. It will explore how the public, private and third sector can work together in new and dynamic ways to drive innovation in order to tackle societal and technological challenges and shape and create new markets.  IIPP aims to radically rethink public value creation and develop a new framework for the way that public policy driven by public purpose is justified, nurtured and evaluated.

Commenting on her appointment Professor Mazzucato said: “I’m delighted to be joining UCL, and particularly The Bartlett, in order to establish a new Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP).  In keeping with the radical, interdisciplinary spirit of UCL, the Institute will have an agenda to carry out research that is useful to society—rethinking the framework for policies that create public value and exploring how public policy can actively shift the direction of economic growth to be inclusive and sustainable.”

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research), commented: “Mariana is developing an exciting new view of potential interactions between the state and the economy, providing a novel perspective on the ways that society can adapt in order to secure a sustainable future. Her influence on policymaking is renowned, and her theme of innovative and inclusive growth speaks to many of the global challenges that UCL seeks to address. We look forward to the fruits of Mariana’s collaboration with leading thinkers from across the breadth of UCL’s disciplines and beyond.”

Professor Alan Penn, Dean of The Bartlett commented: “We are delighted that Mariana has agreed to come to UCL’s Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment to establish an Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose. This institute will build on the critical impact that Mazzucato’s research on the economics of innovation is having on public policy world-wide, furthering her work on the Entrepreneurial State and mission-oriented innovation. It will work closely with the Institute of Global Prosperity and the Institute of Sustainable Resources to develop research, public engagement and postgraduate programmes directed at rethinking the way that the public, private and voluntary sectors innovate to tackle the great challenges facing society, reframing public value concepts in economics and beyond.”

About Mariana Mazzucato

Professor Mariana Mazzucato (PhD) currently holds the RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at SPRU in the University of Sussex.  She has held academic positions at the University of Denver, the London Business School, Bocconi University and the Open University.

Her book The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths (Anthem, 2013; Public Affairs, 2015) was on the 2013 Books of the Year list of the Financial Times. It focuses on the need to develop new frameworks to understand the role of the state in economic growth—and how to enable rewards from innovation to be just as ‘social’ as the risks taken. Professor Mazzucato is winner of the 2014 New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, the 2015 Hans-Matthöfer-Preis and in 2013 she was named as one of the '3 most important thinkers about innovation' in the New Republic.

She advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led growth and is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors; the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Economics of Innovation and SITRA’s (the Finnish Innovation Fund) Advisory Panel.

Her current research projects include two funded by the EC Horizon programme:  Innovation-fuelled, Sustainable, Inclusive Growth (ISIGrowth) and Distributed Global Financial Systems for Society (DOLFINS), and a new project on Rethinking Medical Innovation by the Open Society Foundation. She has also recently worked on research projects through the Ford Foundation, the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and commissioned work by organizations including NASA, the European Space Agency and the Brazilian Ministry for Science and Technology.  Between 2009-2012 she directed a large 3 year European Commission FP7 funded project on Finance, Innovation and Growth (FINNOV).

She is co-editor of a new book, Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (Wiley Blackwell, July 2016), and is currently writing The Value of Everything, to be published by Penguin’s Allen Lane in 2017.

Her highly viewed TED talk, her various research projects and outputs, and her media engagement, including a Lunch with the FT interview, and a TV interview on CNN GPS with Fareed Zakaria, can be found on her website – www.marianamazzucato.com.  She tweets at @MazzucatoM.