Our team

IGL is run by a core team based at Nesta. We carry out our work under the guidance of the IGL Steering Board, composed of representatives from all IGL partners, and benefit from the advice provided by the IGL Scientific Committee, made up of world-class researchers from around the world.

Albert Bravo-Biosca

Albert is the founding director of the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL), a global partnership based at Nesta that brings together governments, foundations and researchers to develop and test new approaches to increase innovation, support high-growth entrepreneurship, and accelerate business growth. IGL aims to make innovation and growth policy more experimental and evidence-based, in order to improve the design of the programmes and institutions that help to make our economies more innovative and entrepreneurial. 

Since joining Nesta in 2007, his work has been at the intersection of innovation, growth and finance. Prior to setting up the Innovation Growth Lab, he was senior economist and led two of Nesta’s major research programmes in this area, one exploring business growth dynamics and its drivers in the UK and internationally, the other examining the contribution of intangible assets to productivity growth.

Among others, his research has also looked at the drivers of venture capital performance, the linkages between financial institutions and innovative performance, and the effectiveness of innovation policy.

Albert holds a PhD and AM in Economics from Harvard University, a MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He is guest professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and member of the UK Cross-Government Trials Advice Panel. He has also been visiting economist at the OECD and consultant for the World Bank.

Hugo Cuello

Hugo is a Researcher for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL), based in Nesta’s Research, Analysis and Policy team.

Hugo provides technical advice for design, implementation and analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs). He explores new opportunities for policy experiments and identifies challenges and gaps in the evidence base in the domain of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth policy. He works with the Head of Economic Analysis and Policy Development at IGL and provides support in policy evaluation, experimentation and data analysis. 

Before joining Nesta, Hugo was a policy evaluation advisor for the Costa Rican government. He also worked in monitoring and evaluation of employment and entrepreneurship programs for the German Development Agency (GIZ) in Central America and for various research institutes and political risk consultancies in Europe and Southeast Asia.  

Hugo holds a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the Complutense University of Madrid.

Meg Doherty

Meg is the Team Coordinator for the Innovation Growth Lab.

Having completed the Year Here fellowship is social innovation and entrepreneurship, Meg spent the last year working in homelessness and housing. Through this, she launched a small social enterprise – Fat Macy’s – a roving restaurant that trains homeless Londoners to run supper clubs, with profits going into a savings scheme helping them raise a deposit for their first flat. She has recently been granted the Shackleton Leadership Award for this work.

Meg is a graduate from the University of Edinburgh where she studied a degree in French and English Literature. 

Triin Edovald

Triin is Principal Researcher at the Innovation Growth Lab in Nesta's Policy & Research team. In addition to supporting the growth, development and communication of IGL, Triin’s role currently includes providing support to IGL Partners on how to best design their RCTs, leading or contributing to the development ad delivery of new RTCs related to innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth; review RCT designs and protocols of IGL Grants-funded trials, providing advice on how to improve them; and leading on develop practical resources that can be used to build capability to undertake them.

Prior to joining Innovation Growth Lab at Nesta, Triin was Head of Evaluation at NatCen Social Research. Prior to NatCen, she worked at the Dartington Social Research Unit where she was leading on the adaptation of the WSIPP’s cost-benefit model developed to inform government investment decisions for use in the UK. Before that, she worked at the National Academy for Parenting Research at King's College London where she assessed the quality and effectiveness of parenting programmes.

Triin holds a PhD in Evidence-based Intervention and a MSc in Evidence-Based Social Work from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Educational Sciences from the University of Tartu where she is also a visiting lecturer. She also acts as a consultant for the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs.

Outside of work, Triin enjoys living a thousand lives by reading novels. She also throws dinner parties when the mood strikes her.  

Teo Firpo

Teo is a researcher for the Innovation Growth Lab in Nesta’s Policy & Research unit. 

He specialises on the technical aspects of RCTs, including their design, implementation and analysis. His work also focuses more generally on government support for innovation, entrepreneurship and business, with an emphasis on policy evaluation.

Teo has an MSc in Economics and Public Policy and a BA in Social Sciences (Summa Cum Laude) from Sciences Po Paris. He previously had stints researching education policy at the OECD as well as urban development in Cairo, Egypt. He currently struggles to locate his belongings, spread out across three different continents.

James Phipps

James is the Head of Economic Analysis and Policy Development for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) based in Nesta’s Research, Analysis and Policy team.

James leads on partner engagement in his role at IGL, helping IGL partners to access evidence from trials, identify and develop their own ideas for policy experiments, and build their capacity to take these forward. 

Before joining Nesta, James was a Senior Economist and Head of Enterprise Policy Development and Evaluation at the UK Business Department (now UK Deparment for Business, Energy & Industrial Straregy). He directed the analysis of various SME support and finance programmes and oversaw a large research programme. James established many RCTs during this time, ranging from small behavioural trials through to major policy experiments such as the Growth Vouchers Programme.

James holds an MSc in Economics from Warwick University and a BSocSc in Mathematical Economics from the University of Birmingham. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his young family and is a keen DIYer.


Kate Ryan

Kate has previously worked in various administrative roles, including Cambridge Assessment working on the administration of English Language exam papers. She has also taught English in China.

Lou-Davina Stouffs

Lou-Davina is Research and Programme Manager for the Innovation Growth Lab in Nesta's Research, Analysis and Policy unit. She manages the IGL Grants Programme and oversees IGL’s portfolio of grant-funded RCTs.

In addition, Lou’s work focuses around the growth and development of IGL, and ensuring IGL projects run according to plan. She also oversees and collaborates on IGL events and communications. She led the initial research behind the trials database that IGL developed.

Prior to joining the IGL team, Lou worked at Nesta as an intern in the Innovation & Economic Growth team where her work focused on high-growth startups and international innovation. Lou-Davina holds an MSc in Public Management and Governance from the London School of Economics and a BA (Hons) in Social Science from University College Roosevelt.