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Rainer Kattel

Rainer Kattel is Deputy Director at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.

rainer kattel
Rainer is professor of innovation and public governance at IIPP, and research professor at Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.


He has studied at the University of Tartu, Estonia, and University of Marburg, Germany, in philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration.

He led Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region.

Professor Kattel has also served on various public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council, and is a member of governing boards at Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian Academy of Arts.

He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. His recent books include:

In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy.

Research summary

Professor Kattel’s research focuses on organisational and institutional aspects of innovations and innovation policies.

His forthcoming book with Yale University Press on innovation bureaucracies will be the first book length study of these organisations. It shows how and why organisational issues (such as routines and capacities) are important for the success or failure of innovation policy.

His research on public sector innovations focuses on issues such as legitimacy and trust, key elements of innovative public services that have previously received scant attention. This line of research has also resulted in the first academic study of innovation labs in the public sector.

In innovation policy, he has studied the impact of new public management reforms and European Union architecture on innovation policy-making, as well as policy learning across borders. His paper on public procurement as an industrial policy tool won Best Paper Award at the World Procurement Conference in 2010.

He has also co-edited a key comparative volume on public procurement of innovation and a major volume on alternative economic theories.

Professor Kattel’s most recent research looks at how digital transformation processes influence public value creation.

Selected publications

To view all publications visit Prof Rainer Kattel's UCL profile.

  • Kattel, R., Drechsler, W., Karo, E. (2019). Innovation Bureaucracy. How governments successfully organize innovation. Yale University Press, forthcoming.
  • Karo, E.; Kattel, R.; Cepilovs, A. (2017). “Can smart specialization and entrepreneurial discovery be organized by government? Lessons from the less-developed regions.” In Radosevic, S.; Curaj, A.; Andreescu, L.; Gheorgiou, R; Wade, I. (Ed.). Smart Specialization Theory and Practice: Regional Planning and Development. Elsevier Science BV, forthcoming.
  • Karo, E.; Kattel, R. (2017). “Innovation and the State: towards an evolutionary theory of policy capacity.” Wu, X.; Holwett, M.; Ramesh, M. (Eds.). Policy Capacity: State and Societal Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-54675-9_6.
  • Tõnurist, P.; Kattel, R.; Lember, V. (2017). Innovation Labs in the Public Sector: what they are and what they do? Public Management Review, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2017.1287939.
  • Tõnurist, P.; Kattel, R. (2016). “Can research, development and innovation policies cross borders? The Case of Nordic-Baltic region”. Science and Public Policy, https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scw066.
  • Kattel, R.; Burlamaqui, L. (2016). “Development as Leapfrogging, Not Convergence, Not Catch-up: Towards Schumpeterian Theories of Finance and Development.” Review of Political Economy, dx.doi.org/10.1080/09538259.2016.1142718.
  • Kattel, R.; Ghosh, J.; Reinert, E.S. (eds.) (2016). The Elgar Handbook of Alternative Theories of Economic Development. Elgar.
  • Kattel, R.; Kregel, J.; Tonveronachi, M.  (eds.) (2016). Finanical Regulation in the European Union. London: Routledge.
  • Kattel, R.; Reinert, E. S. (2014). “Failed and Asymmetrical Integration: The Baltics and the Non-financial Origins of the European Crisis.” J. Sommers, C. Woolfson (eds.). The Contradictions of Austerity. The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model. Routledge, 64-86.
  • Lember, V.; Kattel, R.; Kalvet, T. (eds.) (2014). Public procurement for innovation policy: International perspectives. Springer.
  • Karo, E.; Kattel, R. (2014). “Public Management, Policy Capacity, Innovation and Development.” Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 34(1), 80-102.
  • Kattel, R.; Raudla, R. (2013). “The Baltic States and the Crisis of 2008-2011.” Europe-Asia Studies, 426-449.
  • Kattel, R.; Thorhallsson, B. (2013). “Neo-Liberal Small States and Economic Crisis: Lessons for Democratic Corporatism.” Journal of Baltic Studies, 44 (1), 83-103.
  • Kattel, R.; Burlamaqui, L.; Castro, A.C. (eds.) (2012). Knowledge governance: reasserting the public interest. Anthem Press.
  • Kattel, R.; Primi, A. (2012). “The periphery paradox in innovation policy: Latin America and Eastern Europe Compared.” In Boschi, R.; Santana, C. H. (eds.). Development and Semi-periphery: Post-neoliberal Trajectories in South America and Central Eastern Europe. London: Anthem Press, 265-304.
  • Kattel, R. (2010). “Financial and Economic Crisis in Eastern Europe.” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 31, 1, 41 – 60.
  • Suurna, M.; Kattel, R. (2010). “Europeanization of innovation policy in Central and Eastern Europe.” Science and Public Policy, 37(9), 646 – 664.
  • Lember, V.; Kalvet, T.; Kattel, R. (2010). “Urban competitiveness and public procurement for innovation.” Urban Studies, 48(7), 1373 - 1396.
  • Kattel, R.; Lember, V. (2010). “Public Procurement as an Industrial Policy Tool – an Option for Developing Countries?” Journal of Public Procurement, 10(3), 368 - 404.
  • Kattel, R.; Reinert, E. (2010). “The Economics of Failed, Failing, and Fragile States: Productive Structure as the Missing Link.” In Shahrukh, Khan; Christainsen, Jens (Eds.). Towards New Developmentalism: Markets as Means rather than Master. London: Routledge, 59 - 68.
  • Kattel, R.; Karo, E. (2010). “The Copying Paradox: Why Converging Policies but Diverging Capacities for Development in Eastern European Innovation Systems?” The International Journal of Institutions and Economies, 2(2), 167-186.