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

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

The question of how to raise productivity among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has long presented a challenge to policymakers around the world. In 2018, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) worked with Innovate UK and IGL to launch an innovative approach to this problem, creating a fund to experiment with interventions to boost productivity among SMEs.

Tuesday, 6 February 2024

Through our work with the European Commission to promote policy experimentation and ensure citizens’ engagement in the EU five societal missions, we gathered insights from a survey of 4600 people from six EU Countries about their motivations and attitudes to citizen engagement. This blog outlines some of the key insights from the survey.

Wednesday, 24 January 2024

In IGL we’re firmly convinced that there are major benefits to experimentation in public policy, to find out what works and to make programmes work better before they are launched at scale. But it has never been clear how much our enthusiasm for experiments is shared among the wider public. We recently had the opportunity to look into this, and found that the public have a much better understanding of the need for experimentation than we’d realised.

Join our team!
IGL seeks to hire a Researcher to work on projects to assess the impact of innovation and growth policies.
Learn about how organisations are becoming more experimental
Despite the importance of innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship for economic growth, there is still little evidence on how best to create impactful support. We believe that we need a more experimental approach to innovation and growth policy, trialling new instruments but also evaluating them more rigorously. Browse our Trials Database to see what organisations are learning from experimentation!

Our Partners

The 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 100 researchers from around the world working on randomised controlled trials related to innovation, high-growth entrepreneurship and growth.



  • Alessandro Maffioli
    Inter-American Development Bank
  • Andrew King
    University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  • Asif Mehedi
    University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  • David Morris
    New Economy Manchester