IGL is an international initiative led by Nesta in partnership with several public and private organisations around the world.

Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. Dedicated to supporting great ideas that can help improve lives, Nesta combines a number of roles. These range from early stage investment to funding practical programmes, supporting innovation skills and doing in-depth research. Nesta also run a range of EU wide programmes with partners across Europe.

We believe that we need a more experimental approach to innovation, entrepreneurship and growth policy, trialling new instruments but also evaluating them more rigorously. This involves making much more use of randomised controlled trials, learning from the successful experience in other fields. Nesta’s Creative Credits was one of the first innovation policy RCTs, and we want to help extend this practice globally. This is why Nesta has led the development of IGL, the new global laboratory for innovation and growth policy.  

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the Foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets.

The Kauffman Foundation has been a funder of many different entrepreneurship and innovation programmes in the United States, but the evidence base for what is effective remains thin. Now, with the proliferation of such programmes, we have the opportunity to build a stronger base of such evidence. One of the challenges in doing this is bringing together researchers, funders, and the programs. IGL offers a venue for making such connections. Efforts like IGL promise to generate better knowledge about how to cultivate two things essential to economic health, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Since the 1980s , the Argidius Foundation has been working to catalyse economic development in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa and Central America. Convinced of the potential that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hold for employment creation, income generation, and poverty reduction, our strategy focuses on building their capacity and improving their access to finance. By improving the effectiveness and reach of SME capacity development services, we aim to help entrepreneurs to build profitable businesses and contribute to the sustainable development of their communities.

Seeking to understand our impact and fully realise the potential of our interventions, we have placed a high priority on thoroughly understanding project performance, by evaluating projects throughout their life cycles. We hope that by embracing new and improved approaches, we will continue to evolve, becoming more effective in our work and enhancing the ability of our partners to fulfil their missions.  

ACCIÓ is the Agency for Business Competitiveness of the Government of Catalonia. The core business activities of ACCIÓ include trade and investment, innovation and high growth entrepreneurship.

ACCIÓ is a flexible agency that adapts to the needs of companies with new programmes and support tools to improve their competitiveness. ACCIÓ strongly believes that improving public policies requires evaluation systems, based on facts and data, that could enable innovation in the different programs that are performed.

ACCIÓ has been evaluating its programmes for several years with its own methodologies. Participating in Nesta’s Growth Innovation Lab is an excellent opportunity to incorporate new perspectives and exchange experiences in the evaluation of innovation policies with prestigious teams in the field, increase knowledge and improve public policies.


The Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is an enabler of growth and productivity for globally competitive industries in Australia. The department fulfils this vision by supporting science and innovation to deliver better scientific and economic outcomes for Australia, building capability, growing investment and streamlining regulation.

The department’s engagement with Nesta’s Innovation Growth Lab will increase understanding and help to quantify the impacts generated by measures designed to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth. The knowledge and expertise that will be shared through international collaboration also presents opportunities for the department to enhance the evidence base available to policy makers in Australia. The department perceives additional value in partnering in the Innovation Growth Lab due to the inclusive nature of the Innovation Growth Lab’s Steering Board, which will allow the department to influence the forward agenda to ensure the material remains relevant to the Australian policy context.

The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is the national funding agency for industrial research and innovation in Austria. Our target groups are companies, RTOs and Universities. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) offers advice, support and funding for research and innovation projects. In this way, the FFG plays an important role in achieving aims, both research and political, defined by Austria and the European Union.

Our participation in Nesta's Innovation Growth Lab will enable us to improve our expertise in the design and the implementation of  experiments and randomised control trials. We expect to create strong evidence for the effects of our programmes and activities by collecting robust empirical data. Exchanging ideas on the application of experiments in innovation policy with experts and other funding agencies is a great opportunity that will help us shape our funding portfolio and our implementation processes into new and promising directions.

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board – we’re the UK’s innovation agency, accelerating sustainable economic growth.  Innovators whether small, medium or large, see the world as full of problems  - they have the ideas and talents to fix society’s challenges. We know that taking a new idea to market is a challenge. We fund, support and connect innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

Innovate UK is committed to using robust evaluation techniques to improve our understanding of the impact of our work. Partnering with the Innovation Growth Lab is an exciting opportunity to extend the use of rigorous - but challenging - experimental techniques to understand what support works best for businesses when they are innovating, working with leading academics and institutions around the world. 

Innovation Norway is the Norwegian state and counties' key instrument to achieve both private and socio-economic profitable business and industry development, working to increase the numbers of good entrepreneurs, companies with growth potential, and innovative business clusters. With a regional presence both in Norway and abroad, Innovation Norway is uniquely positioned to generate profitable business development and value added based on the regions' various preconditions and to release the opportunities within business and industry.
Innovation Norway definitely sees the need for access to a global network of both agencies and researchers, and believes cooperation and mutual learning will improve our own innovation capabilities and the impact from our portfolio of services to business and industry. We have continuously been asking independent researchers to evaluate our programs and services, and in recent years we even have conducted impact analysis within a quasi-experimental design by Statistics Norway. Now we are ready to experiment even more, and learn from randomised experiments to improve our own performance, develop our service portfolio, and professionalize our policy advices within the broad area of innovation

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. We work with partners in the public and private sectors to identify and exploit the best opportunities to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. We aim to help transform Scotland’s innovation performance to equal the best-performing nations by 2020. To achieve this, we will adopt a more flexible support method, seeking new delivery models to maximise impact and support the foundations of the innovation process. We work closely with companies to help them innovate and grow which increases their capacity to internationalise; being a member of the Innovation Growth Laboratory helps us to strengthen this global mindset and make use of the best solutions for Scotland’s innovation challenges.

Scottish Enterprise sees the IGL as a unique opportunity to test and evaluate approaches to innovation in partnership with our global partners. By being flexible and experimental we can continue to grow our innovation in Scotland, in turn making us more competitive.

Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Growth Analysis) has been commissioned by the Government to highlight the areas that are most important for growth. We work with evaluations, analyses and statistics in a Swedish and international perspective. Growth Analysis is a cross-border organisation with activities conducted in Östersund, Stockholm, Brasilia, New Delhi, Beijing, Tokyo, Brasilia and Washington, D.C.. Growth Analysis is a part of the Swedish diplomatic mission abroad, serving as the Science and Innovation Office of the Swedish embassies in the countries in which we are located.

Growth Analysis (GA) has produced several quantitative impact evaluations on Swedish policies towards SMEs, but there is an on-going need to gather more reliable information regarding what actually happens in SMEs receiving public support. GA thus sees RCTs as a learning device, especially when doing pilots with an aim to improve the effectiveness of Swedish innovation policy instruments.

Tekes - The Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation - works with the top innovative companies and research units. Our research, development and innovation funding is targeted to projects that create in the long-term the greatest benefits for the economy and society. Our objective is that the impacts of innovation are widely disseminated throughout the national economy and society at large. Public R&D funding has positive impact as it boosts innovation activities in companies, increasing the corporate expertise and networking, which result as new patents and products, processes and services. In the end, this is seen as growth of turnover, productivity and employment. Ultimately, the innovations funded by Tekes contribute to the welfare of citizens and of the environment.

Tekes is highly motivated to develop its service portfolio and trial with new interventions to maximize its impact. Partnering with the Innovation Growth Lab is seen as an opportunity to develop further our means to develop, and especially measure, the success of new trials in our innovation management endeavors. We are looking forward to engage with the IGL collaboration and utilize it as a platform for sharing the newest ideas in this business.

The UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) is the department for economic growth. BIS aims to promote trade, boost innovation, help people to start and grow a business, and help both individuals and businesses to invest in skills and education. It also protects consumers and reduces the impact of regulation. We are strongly committed to using robust evidence to support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of our policies.

As the Department for growth we are delighted to partner in the Innovation Growth Lab. Partnering in this exciting new venture reflects our desire to develop and extend the evidence base in innovation and enterprise, and our recognition of the importance of experimental evidence to help us understand what works and what doesn’t. It will also help us to improve and extend our connections with the research community, sharing findings and best practice with our IGL partners, higher education institutions, and other experts in innovation and enterprise.