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Towards inclusive innovation systems: developing a mission-oriented framework for No Limits

Authored by Rainer Kattel, Julie McLaren, Virgi Agita Sari and Manuel Maldonado.

Towards inclusive innovation systems: developing a mission-oriented framework for No Limits

5 July 2024

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Towards inclusive innovation systems: developing a mission-oriented framework for No Limits | policy report no. 2024/07

Authors:

  • Rainer Kattel: Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance | UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purposee
  • Julie McLaren: PhD candidate | UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose
  • Virgi Agita Sari: LSE Fellow | London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Manuel Maldonado: Senior Policy Designer (IIPP Policy Studio) | UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Summary:

The goals and scope of innovation systems have continuously changed over the past decade. While policymakers in the 1990s and early 2000s focused on increasing the competitiveness of an economy as the primary outcome of an innovation system, in recent years, the emphasis has gradually shifted towards societal challenges as, at the very least, complementary goals to competitiveness. Next to tackling the climate emergency and achieving sustainable development goals, increasing the inclusiveness of innovation systems has gained considerable traction as a foundational policy goal for science, technology and innovation (STI) policies.

Innovate UK’s No Limits programme “aims to transform the UK's skills and talent pipeline by inspiring and connecting people to new opportunities.” Thus, the challenge that No Limits seeks to remedy is that of addressing systemic issues of exclusion and inequality in innovation systems. Such emphasis requires looking holistically at how innovation processes are supported, the policy mixes and instruments used, and at different levels of governance. Including the outcomes of the system is crucial for achieving equity. This is an enormously complex challenge and one that any single actor cannot solve. It will only happen when people from across sectors come together to achieve this shared goal.

This report proposes a specific approach to creating an innovation system that anyone can engage with and receive the support necessary for success: a mission-oriented approach centred on shared goals for equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). We believe applying a mission-oriented approach will help create a framework for many policy actors to mobilise behind ambitious policy targets and coordinate activities over a more extended period.

Reference

UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (2024). Towards inclusive innovation systems: developing a mission-oriented framework for No Limits. IIPP Policy Report No. 2024/07. Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/public-purpose/policy-report-2024-07.