UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


IIPP hosts the 2023 Mission-Oriented Innovation Network Gathering (MOIN) in London

30 June 2023

60 members of IIPP’s Mission-Oriented Innovation Network (MOIN) - representing over 40 organisations - travelled to BMA House, London, on 6-7 June to learn about, discuss and exchange experiences on the theme of ‘Mission Oriented Innovation: the state of play.’

MOIN members at the 2023 MOIN Global Gathering 

Part of IIPP's 2023 Entrepreneurial State 2.0 Festival, the 2023 MOIN Gathering (see link for full programme and speakers) explored a variety of key questions on how we advance the bold view of the state as a market shaper and a key driver of challenge-oriented innovation. As the first face-to-face meeting of the MOIN network since the pandemic, the 2023 MOIN Gathering was a crucial opportunity for public sector actors to share with and learn from their peers, as well as engage with IIPP academics, researchers, fellows and students.  

“MOIN is a learning network where we discuss and rethink the state as an active investor and innovator”

– Professor Mariana Mazzucato, IIPP Director, in her welcome address. 

Over 60 MOIN members from around 20 countries attended the event in person, with many more joining online both as event speakers and participants. They represented diverse organisations including: national innovation agencies such as CSIRO (Australia), Finep (Brazil) and Arpa-H (US), international organisations such as the European Commission and UNDP, cities such as Barcelona and London as well as strategic design agencies such as the Danish Design Centre and the UK Design Council. The Gathering looked at both theory and current practice in the missions space via an agenda of panel discussions, interactive plenaries and breakout sessions.

Prof. Mariana Mazzucato opens the 2023 MOIN Gathering

IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato opened the first day with a keynote and panel discussion on industrial policy as a driver of green growth – which was then followed by sessions on digital state capacity, led by IIPP Co-Director Dr David Eaves, and the evolving role of public innovation agencies in tackling grand challenges, led by IIPP Co-Director Professor Rainer Kattel. A MOIN Cities community of practice meeting was also convened during the first day. The second day of the gathering focussed on new forms of dynamic evaluation for evaluating mission-oriented policies and how cities are using new tools and approaches to address current challenges such as climate change and inequality.  

“We need policy that is industrial, social, and sustainable”

- Alicia Bárcena, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, in the panel ‘Industrial Policy: Steering Green Growth’ 

Prof. Rainer Kattel hosts a discussion with CSIRO (Australia), A2i (Bangladesh) and the Danish Design Centre on the evolving role of public innovation agencies in tackling grand challenges

In addition to the scheduled sessions, the gathering was a space for MOIN members to network and learn from each other: they exchanged experiences, insights and advice about the real-life opportunities and challenges of designing and implementing mission-oriented innovation policies in practice. Some of the key challenges that members raised included getting buy-in for missions, collaborating across departments within their organisations, developing the necessary organisational capabilities and capacities, and measuring missions. 

Breakout discussions focused on the need for new capabilities within our governments to take a mission-oriented approach.

Participants also had the chance to meet and learn about the work of students from IIPP’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Innovation, Public Policy and Public Value: the students held an interactive exhibit session with MOIN members in which they shared projects covering topics from green social prescribing to challenge prizes, tools for decarbonisation, and electricity equity.  

At the end of the first day, participants of the MOIN Gathering took part in an evening reception marking the 5th anniversary of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and the 10th anniversary of the publication of Professor Mariana Mazzucato’s book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking public vs. private sector mythst UCL Gustave Tack’s Theatre. 

‘We were delighted to host the 2023 MOIN Global Gathering in London; to bring together the MOIN network in a space of learning and sharing about the real-word experiences, insights and expertise of practitioners working globally to put mission-oriented policies into practice. We extend our thanks to all MOIN participants and speakers for a high energy and a highly engaging event. We very much look forward to further online and face-to-face MOIN convenings’. 

 Nora Clinton, Head of the Mission-Oriented Innovation Network 

A full event write up is due to be published by the MOIN team over the summer months. To learn more about the work of and how to join the MOIN Network, please reach out to Nora at (n.clinton@ucl.ac.uk).