UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Mazzucato and IIPP missions at European Research and Innovation Days conference

24 September 2019

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) Director Mariana Mazzucato spoke at the European Research and Innovation Days conference, relaunching the Governing Missions report which sets out a mission-oriented approach towards research and innovation.

Professor Mazzucato and EU Commissioner discusses importance of IIPP missions approach within Horizon EU framework in Brussels

IIPP Director, Professor Mariana Mazzucato, spoke at the European Research and Innovation Days conference in Brussels alongside outgoing EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas and Director-General for Research and Innovation, Jean Eric Paquet. The conference, attended by over 3,500 European researchers and policymakers, is covering the full breadth of innovation supported by and funded by the European Union. Mazzucato, Moedas and Paquet discussed the importance of missions within the Horizon Europe framework – an approach pioneered by IIPP.

EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas highlighted the vital work of Professor Mazzucato and IIPP, stating:

Mariana worked with the European Union in a way we've never worked before getting people excited about innovation and to say that we are proud of the scientists. We are absolutely committed to involving citizens in the missions of Horizon Europe.

Professor Mazzucato relaunched the report Governing Missions in the European Union which sets out how the mission-oriented innovation programme within the €100bn Horizon Europe programme should be managed. The report builds on the Mazzucato report, and makes recommendations which responds to three important questions:

  • How to engage citizens in co-designing, co-creating, co-implementing and coassessing missions?
  • What are the public sector capabilities and instruments needed to foster a dynamic innovation eco-system, including the ability of civil servants to welcome experimentation and help governments work outside silos?
  • How can mission-oriented finance and funding leverage and crowd-in other forms of finance, galvanising innovation across actors (public, private and third sector), different manufacturing and service sectors, and across national and transnational levels?

Carlos Moedas and Mariana Mazzucato in Brussels

Carlos Moedas and Mariana Mazzucato


Whilst in Brussels, Professor Mazzucato met the new European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel. Mazzucato and Gabriel discussed the importance of strategically directing innovation towards some of the biggest challenges society faces through the Horizon Europe fund.

Speaking at the conference, Mazzucato said:

This isn't just about innovation funding, it is about how we do Capitalism differently. Transnational organisations like the EU have a real opportunity to rethink the tools that we need to deliver a bold new vision for innovation. For me it has been an honour to work with someone like Carlos Moedas. Not many high-level policymakers are so happy to get involved and get their hands dirty. 

Read the Governing Missions report


For more information on the Governing Missions report, please contact George Dibb: g.dibb@ucl.ac.uk