UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Innovation-led growth in Latin America

A new collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank will look at how strengthening innovation systems in Latin America is key to future growth opportunities.

IIPP partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank for new project

21 September 2017

Starting from the insight that innovation has both a rate and a direction, the project will focus on how mission-oriented policies  can help direct innovation towards solving key challenges being faced in Mexico, Colombia and Chile. The work builds on a previous report created for the Brazilian Government.

The study will begin with a mapping of leading public and private institutions in each country, and how they link to the national innovation system. It will then focus on the ways in which organisational capacity building, and changes in the interactions between public and private actors, can help steer innovation-led growth. It will also explore how to refocus financial institutions to provide patient, long-term, strategic capital in order to facilitate this transformation.


The project will include case studies on Mexico, Colombia and Chile. They will be developed in collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico, Universidad de Ibagué in Colombia and United Nations Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), based in Santiago, Chile).

The Inter-American Development Bank is the main source of financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides loans, grants, guarantees, policy advice and technical assistance to the public and private sectors of its borrowing countries.

Watch Professor Mazzucato's interview with IADB:

Project team

Professor Mazzucato is the lead scientist for the project, which builds heavily on her previous research. The IADB project team will be Vanderleia Radaelli and Jocelyn Olivari. National research teams in Colombia, Mexico and Chile will be led by Iván Hernandez (Universidad de Ibagué, Colombia); Gabriela Dutrenit (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico); and Mario Cimoli (CEPAL, Chile)

Read more about Professor Mazzucato and IIPP's work on mission-oriented innovation policies here.

Further reading

IADB blog (2017), ¿Por qué impulsar la innovación orientada por misiones?, by Jocelyn Olivari and Vanderleia Radaelli 

Mariana Mazzucato (2017), "Mission-Oriented Innovation Policy: challenges and opportunities", IIPP Working Paper 01.

Mariana Mazzucato and Caetano Penna (2016) ‘The Brazilian Innovation System: A Mission-Oriented Policy Proposal’, Report for the Brazilian Government,commissioned by the Brazilian Ministry for Science, Technology and Innovation through the Centre for Strategic Management and Studies.