Innovation Growth Lab

Working to increase the impact of innovation and growth policy

About us 

IGL is a global policy lab that supports the development of productive, inclusive and sustainable economies through the application of novel policy ideas, experimentation, data and evidence.

We work with policymakers, researchers, practitioners and funders to address key policy challenges in the fields of science, innovation, entrepreneurship and business policies.

To advance our mission, IGL brings together a network of leading government bodies and foundations who share our vision - the IGL Partners.

IGL history and impact 

IGL was launched in 2014 by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, in partnership with a core group of governments, foundations and researchers. 

We span the boundaries of policy and research. Our IGL Partners include leading institutions that support our mission, and the IGL Research Network has over 100 researchers working on experimental research in this field

Within a short period of time IGL has become the global leader in this nascent field, achieved substantial policy impact across the OECD, and helped advance the experimentation agenda in this policy space. 

Some highlights of our work and impact include:

  • Supporting over 70 policy experiments in over 30 countries, demonstrating the feasibility and value of experimentation in this policy space.
  • Working with over 35 government agencies across five continents to help them become more experimental.
  • Running capacity-building workshops, events and online resources that have reached thousands of policymakers from close to 50 countries. 
  • Successfully campaigning for the creation of experimentation funds, resulting in both the UK and the EU launching dedicated funding calls for experiments in innovation and business policies and programmes. This has supported many organisations to set up and run their first experiments.
  • Growing a global community of policymakers, practitioners and researchers engaged in policy experimentation in this field.

IGL is a non-profit organisation run by a core team based at Nesta and the Barcelona School of Economics, under the guidance of the IGL Steering Board, composed of representatives from all IGL partners, and benefiting from the advice provided by the IGL Scientific Committee, made up of world-class researchers from around the world. These include:

Nick Bloom Stanford Business School | Dietmar Harhoff Max Planck Institute for Innovation & Competition | Karim Lakhani Harvard Business School | Josh Lerner Harvard Business School | Fiona Murray MIT Sloan | Mark Schankerman LSE | Scott Stern MIT Sloan | John Van Reenen LSE | Reinhilde Veugelers KULeuven | Heidi Williams Stanford University

Our global reach

IGL collaborates with organisations around the world, including our core partners as well as other leading global institutions.