Innovation Growth Lab Global Conference 2017 held in barcelona

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The Innovation Growth Lab (IGL), in collaboration with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the World Bank Group, the Cotec Foundation, the “La Caixa” Banking Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank, held its annual conference in Barcelona, Spain on June 13-14.
Building on the success of last year’s IGL2016, IGL2017 brought together senior policymakers, practitioners and researchers to:
  • Learn about the next generation of innovation and entrepreneurship policies.
  • Engage in wide-ranging discussions on crucial policy challenges including automation, inclusive economic growth, directing public innovation funding, and smart regulation to support innovation.
  • Improve their organisation’s capability to design policies that deliver measurable impact, using different tools such as randomised controlled trials and big data.
  • Meet a global community of peers to learn from and share experiences with.

The two day event had over 50 speakers, including:

  • José Miguel Benavente, Competitiveness and Innovation Division Chief, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Francesca Bria, Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer, Barcelona City Council
  • Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor, City of West Sacramento 
  • Clara Eugenia Garcia, Director General for Research, Development & Innovation, Spanish Government 
  • Dean Karlan, Professor of Economics, Yale University
  • Taina Kulmala, Head of Policy Analysis Unit, Prime Minister’s Office, Finland
  • Luiz Martins, Head of Special Projects Area, FINEP (Brazil)
  • Andrew Palmer, Business Affairs Editor, The Economist
  • Ganesh Rasagam, Practice Manager for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, World Bank Group
  • Raj Thampuram, Managing Director, Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The first day, ​Tuesday 13 June,  brought together all participants in a series of plenary and interactive parallel sessions, while the second day, Wednesday 14 June, gave participants the choice to attend one of the following:

  • IGL Policy & Practice Learning Lab – a practical day of workshops tailored specifically to policy-makers and practitioners working in this space; or
  • IGL Research Meeting – an academic meeting with presentations of design-stage, ongoing and completed randomised controlled trials.
Attending IGL2017 also gave participants access to an exclusive opening event of SONAR+D on the evening of the 14 of June, as well as discounted tickets for the event itself.

Why are we doing this?

Despite the importance of innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship for economic growth, there are still many open questions on the best approaches to support them. There is a need to experiment with new approaches and, crucially, learn what works.

While there are many methods to generate evidence, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been particularly underutilised in the area of innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, in comparison to other fields such as development, health, education or social policy. Creative Credits, Nesta’s innovation vouchers RCT, is one of the very few examples of randomised evaluation of innovation support schemes, and shows both the feasibility and the benefit of using RCTs in this domain.

The Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) is a new international collaboration that wants to contribute to fill this gap, by increasing the use of experiments (in particular RCTs) to build the evidence base on the most effective approaches to increase innovation, support high-growth entrepreneurship, and accelerate business growth.

What are we doing?

IGL aims to enable, support, undertake and disseminate high-impact research that improves the design of the processes, programmes and institutions that help to make our economies more innovative and entrepreneurial.

Together with our partners from around the world, we have set up a global laboratory for innovation and growth policy, bringing together researchers, governments, non-profit organisations and innovative companies.

Want to know more?

If you are interested in getting involved, as a partner, research network member, by running a trial or applying for the IGL Grants programme, or simply want to learn more about what we do, please visit the IGL website for more information

The Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) is an initiative led by Nesta in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, the Argidius Foundation, ACCIÓ, the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Innovate UK, Innovation Norway, Scottish Enterprise, Tekes, and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


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