By defining innovation agencies as “government-funded or managed institutions that provide financial and other support to catalyse or drive private sector innovation”, this recently issued publication by NESTA aims at identifying best practices in terms of establishing and running an innovation agency and
goes into detail on what the most effective policies and programmes could be in a given national context.
Based on the results of the analysis of ten innovation agencies representing different countries around the world (namely Austria, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Israel, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK and USA) the report comes to the conclusion that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to establish and manage a ‘successful’ innovation agency as each organization operates in a very different political and economic environment. Even though there is no single model for an innovation agency, there is much to learn from other countries and there are a variety of roles innovation agencies can play.
The publication points out three main roles based on the case studies examined: market and system fixers; industry builders; mission drivers and system optimisers. The report stressed that innovation agencies’ focus should not be on pursuing too many roles at the same time but rather on the capability of responding timely to new needs and opportunities within the innovation system.
Learn more international lessons here.