UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose



The IIPP research mission: "Changing how public value is imagined, practiced and evaluated to tackle societal challenges to achieve sustainable, inclusive and innovation-led growth."

Research pillars

Through our research, the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) aims to help create new economic thinking and practical tools for the public sector in order to co-create and co-shape markets through public purpose-led missions. With this mission at its core, IIPP's research tackles the complex relationships between economic, technological and social changes, covering four pillars of inquiry:

Rethinking value challenges existing theories of value, to create a new framework to understand how value can be created and shared. Learn more.

Shaping innovation considers how to steer scientific and technological advances to tackle societal challenges. Learn more.

Transforming institutions examines how we can create public purpose-driven institutions. Learn more.

Directing finance looks at developing patient, strategic finance mechanisms for sustainable, investment-led growth.  Learn more.

We use these pillars to tackle challenges in areas such as health innovation, green economy, space economy, digital transformation, data and artificial intelligence.

Research themes

Cutting across these pillars are the key IIPP themes of:

Co-shaping and co-creating

Markets can be shaped by purposeful policy making and by new collaborations between the state, business and civil society.

Missions and public purpose

Mission-oriented policy focuses on problem-specific societal challenges, which many different sectors interact to solve.

Capabilities and governance

We need to build capacity within the public sector to adapt to new ways of working to direct innovation.

New economic thinking

It has become clear that standard economic thinking is not fit to tackle the societal challenges facing the world. New theoretical and empirical approaches are needed to support better policy-making.

UCL Grand Challenges

UCL Grand Challenges
Our work will focus on real world impact. We aim to make an ambitious contribution to the UCL Grand Challenges agenda, which brings together expertise from across the university with external partners, to address some of the most pressing problems facing human societies worldwide.