UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Mission-Oriented Innovation Network (MOIN)

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) is excited to host a global network of organisations with the aim of empowering them in the pursuit of public-value driven innovation.

MOIN members in Bellagio at annual meeting, March 2019


MOIN brings together leading global policy-making institutions – including state investment banks, innovation agencies, and strategic/sectoral units setting the strategic direction of governments – as well as private organisations interested in public purpose, to share the challenges and opportunities they face when trying to create and nurture public value. 

The network will create and test a new policy making framework that is able to justify, nurture and evaluate policies which actively shape and create markets—not only ‘fix’ them—and which are driven by public value. MOIN provides an organisational dimension to mission-oriented policies, focusing on how the public can agencies create and nurture dynamic capabilities for tackling grand challenges of our time. 

The key outputs will be a peer-learning platform and a new policy toolkit focused on the development of capabilities and capacity needed to nurture collaborations across the economy which can drive innovation across society-wide missions. Our methodology is based on co-creation between policy actors (network partners) and academic research, where policy implementation and capacity is not an afterthought but key to the research process its.

MOIN is the focal point for IIPP’s collaboration with the OECD.

The network is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and forms a key policy engagement platform for EU Horizon2020 project on Growth Welfare Innovation Productivity (Growinpro).

If you are interested in joining the network, please contact Professor Rainer Kattel (r.kattel@ucl.ac.uk).

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MOIN members

MOIN brings together a network of organisations with a strong sense of public purpose that align with IIPP's mission and values. Learn more about each MOIN member.

Barcelona City Council logo
Department of Public Enterprises, South Africa
Eurofund logo
Public Practice
Scot Gov

Department of Science and Technology, South Africa
Greater Manchester Authority
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Governments

BNDES logo
Digital Transformation Team
Innovate UK
UAE Prime Minister's Office
Chief Information Office Republic of Estonia

UK Space Agency

Camden Council
Design Council
Dubai Future
innovation norway logo
Public Digital
RUTA N logo

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MOIN and the ROAR framework

The network is developed under a new theoretical and practical framework that enables MOIN members to envision, justify, measure and assess public investments. The ROAR framework gives the network a theoretical and practical anchor that allows us to operationalise concrete activities for mission-oriented organisations. The ROAR framework (elaborated by IIPP Director Mariana Mazzucato [1]) addresses four essential pillars:

  • ROUTES AND DIRECTIONS: How to overcome the fear of ‘picking winners’, focusing the question not on whether to ‘pick’ but on how to make strategic choices around societal and technological missions, which can ‘tilt’ the playing field around transformative change across many sectors. This pillar is about 'directionality'.
  • ORGANISATIONAL CAPACITY: How to build the type of public sector institutions that welcome the fundamental uncertainty—and hence risk-taking—inherent in the innovation process—becoming learning institutions. This pillar is about viewing ‘policy as process’ and building learning organisations to engage in that process.
  • ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION: How to develop new tools to measure and assess the dynamic impact of different types of public policies that aim to create markets not only fix them. This pillar is about building a dynamic approach to the assessment of policies to replace, or at times complement, the more static cost-benefit approaches.
  • RISKS AND REWARDS: How to develop mechanisms so that the public and private sectors share the risks and also the rewards. This pillar is about thinking of ways to allow smart, innovation-led growth to also be inclusive growth.
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Activity to date

The network launched in March 2018, with presentations and workshops led by path-breaking innovators from 10 countries with experience in creating, capturing and nurturing public value.

During the first year, MOIN research activities focused on the issues of appraisal and evaluation of mission-oriented policies; we explored ways in which policy analysis can go beyond the traditional ‘market failure’ framework derived from neoclassical welfare economics to a ‘market co-creating’ and ‘market-shaping’. During Spring and Summer of 2018, we organised a number of workshops and webinars on the issue with UK's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that included civil servants and policy analysts across various government departments, and with MOIN members.

This line of activity resulted in the IIPP policy report The economics of change.

In January 2019, IIPP hosted a public policy colloquium “Sparking social innovation through crowdsourcing and prizes: Does Finland lead the way?” with invited talks from MOIN member, the Finnish Innovation fund, Sitra. The event examined possibilities and limits of using challenge prizes as an instrument in driving mission-oriented innovation. Read the main conclusions drawn from the event in our blog titled Can prizes enact genuine social change?

In March 2019, the network will convene a three day seminar at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Northern Italy.

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ICC special issue
Rainer Kattel and Mariana Mazzucato, eds., Special Issue: Mission-Oriented Innovation Policy and Dynamic Capabilities in the Public Sector, Industrial and Corporate Change, 27 (5).
Mazzucato Report
Mission-oriented research & innovation in the European Union

Author: Mariana Mazzucato


The economics of change: Policy appraisal for missions, market shaping and public purpose
The economics of change: Policy appraisal for missions, market shaping and public purpose

Authors: Rainer KattelMariana MazzucatoJosh Ryan-Collins, Simon Sharpe

IIPP WP 2018-07: Movements with missions make markets cover
Movements with missions make markets

Author: Charles Leadbeater

Cover of the working paper, Mission-oriented innovation policy and dynamic capabilities in the public sector
Mission-oriented innovation policy and dynamic capabilities in the public sector

Authors: Rainer KattelMariana Mazzucato


The Bit and the Rainforest: Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Policy Capacity
The Bit and the Rainforest: Towards an Evolutionary Theory of Policy Capacity

Authors: Erkki KaroRainer Kattel


Technological Capacity in Public Sector: The Case of Estonia
Technological Capacity in the Public Sector: The Case of Estonia

Authors: Veiko Lember, Rainer Kattel, Piret Tõnurist
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If you are interested in joining the network, please contact Professor Rainer Kattel: r.kattel@ucl.ac.uk

For all other enquiries, please contact Ville Takala: v.takala@ucl.ac.uk

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[1] Discussed in Mazzucato, M. (2016) "From Market Fixing to Market-Creating: A new framework for innovation policy",  Industry and Innovation, and IIPP first working paper Mission Oriented Innovation Policy: Challenges and Opportunities