The Impact of Intellectual Property Protection on Firm Outcomes: Evidence from a Randomised Controlled Trial

To what extent does patent protection change product market outcomes?

The granting of patent rights is a central public policy tool to incentivise innovation, but the incentive that patents offer works indirectly. Rather than directly subsidising R&D costs (as in other mechanisms, such as tax credits), or attempting to make up for any differences between the public and private incentives to research, patents provide incentive through product market protection.

Corporate Nudging & Intrapreneurship

Can subtle non-monetary nudges be used to influence intrapreneurial behaviour in a large corporation?

Intrapreneurship, or bottom-up entrepreneurial activities by employees from existing firms, can be an important source of innovation and organisational growth. Management of intrapreneurship, however, is highly complex as it is typically considered discretionary behaviour and is generally not formalised in job descriptions. Innovation competitions is one way to stimulate this type of behaviour within firms

From our blog

Friday, 10 May 2019

We suggest three main areas of action which should be explored by those managing R&D and innovation budgets in order to increase their impact.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Over the last four years at the Innovation Growth Lab, we've started learning valuable lessons from experiments about how to best support innovation, entrepreneurship, and business growth.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Despite the growing awareness of the different approaches and techniques used to improve decision making, there is little scientific understanding of the best approach. In this IGL funded trial, researchers from Bocconi University present their findings from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) into whether adopting a scientific approach improves entrepreneurial decision making and firm performance.

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Experimental innovation and growth policy
Despite the importance of innovation and high-growth entrepeneurship for economic growth, there is still too little evidence on how best to support them. We believe that we need a more experimental approach to innovation and growth policy, trialling new instruments but also evaluating them more rigorously.

Our partners

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

Our research network

The IGL Research Network includes over 85 researchers from around the world working on randomised trials related to innovation, high-growth entrepreneurship and growth.



  • Marco Kleine
    Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
  • Alicia Robb
    The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Linus Dahlander
    ESMT Berlin
  • Albina Khairullina
    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne



  • Patricio Dalton
    Tilburg University
  • Guido Baltes
    Constance University of Applied Sciences IST Institute for Strategic Innovation & Technology Management
  • Laura Rosendahl Huber
    Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
  • Marti Mestieri
    Northwestern University