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 Senior Policy Analyst for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

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.

Eszter Czibor

Eszter is Principal Researcher for the Innovation Growth Lab in Nesta’s Research, Analysis and Policy unit.

Her role centres on the promoting and facilitating experimentation around innovation and entrepreneurship support policies. She leads on or contributes to the development and delivery of new Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) by IGL's partners, often with a focus on improving the inclusivity of their programmes. She also provides methodological advice to fine-tune the designs and protocols of IGL-funded and -supported trials. 

Prior to Nesta, Eszter was a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Economics of the University of Chicago, where she used lab and field experiments to study and improve incentive schemes and evaluation processes. She also worked on identifying and promoting actionable steps to increase the reliability of experimental findings. She obtained her PhD in economics from the University of Amsterdam. 

Eszter is passionate about generating high-quality, causal evidence to support policy making, and about disseminating academic findings to a wider audience. In her free time, she enjoys theatre and modern dance, and is an enthusiastic hobby aerialist. 

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 Senior Researcher for the Innovation Growth Lab in Nesta’s Policy & Research unit. 

Teo's role at IGL includes working with governments to help them identify opportunities to run policy experiments; reviewing RCT designs of IGL-funded trials; and exploring opportunities for new policy experiments. 

Teo has an MSc in Economics and Public Policy and a BA in Social Sciences from Sciences Po Paris. He previously had stints researching education policy at the OECD as well as urban development in Cairo, Egypt. 

Rob Fuller

Rob is the Evaluation Manager in the Innovation Growth Lab. He is responsible for working with project teams, funders and researchers to deliver high-quality evaluations and to make sure that the findings are used to inform policy.

Prior to joining Nesta, Rob worked on randomised controlled trials and other impact evaluations in the international development field. He spent several years with Oxfam, leading quasi-experimental evaluations of the impacts of projects around the world. Most recently he worked with an impact investor, AgDevCo, managing the monitoring and evaluation activities of a programme providing support to agricultural SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Rob has an MSc in Economics from the University of Edinburgh and a BSc in Mathematics and Statistics from Birkbeck, University of London.

Layla Gemmell

Layla is an Assistant Operations Manager for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL) .

She is responsible for having a handle on the bigger picture and overseeing the work of the team with a particular focus on operational management.

Layla joined Nesta 2011, her most recent role was with the Skills team. They provided content, learning experiences and strategic support to improve and embed innovation skills. Prior to working at Nesta Layla previously managed a project supporting adults with learning disabilities by providing learning and social opportunities.

Alex Glennie

Alex is a Senior Policy Manager in the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

She leads engagement work with IGL's international network of innovation policymakers, supporting them to embed experimentation practices in how they work and facilitating learning opportunities between them.

In prior roles at Nesta, she has conducted comparative research on inclusive innovation policies, and worked with government innovation agencies around the world on strategy and policy. In 2020, she was seconded to an internal team developing Nesta's new strategy, focusing on culture change and ways of working.

Alex previously worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, managing research and policy projects relating to migration, international development, integration and diversity.

Outside of Nesta, Alex is an accredited coach and works with people on leadership and development.

Stella Ishack

Stella is the Assistant Programme Manager for the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

Stella facilitates the dissemination of IGL's work and leads on content creation, as well as project managing a number of IGL projects. She obtained a BA in English Literature from Queen Mary University of London and has previously worked at a not-for-profit organisation delivering cultural programmes in Sydney. She is a keen figurative artist and avid reader.

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.