UCL professor takes up adviser role to EU commissioner

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UCL Professor Mariana Mazzucato this week took up her role as Moedas’s special advisor on mission-driven science and innovation.

Professor Mazzucato, Director of UCL’s Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), will advise Carlos Moedas, EU commissioner on research, on the economic framework behind mission oriented policies.

She will take as a  starting point an IIPP working paper which formed the basis for a keynote speech last month to 28 EU ministers including UK Higher Education Minister Jo Johnson. She is also meeting representatives from research bodies across the EU.

Such a mission-oriented approach could transform societal challenges – from climate change to care issues – into concrete problems that multiple sectors and different types of public and private actors could work together to solve, she said.

“Instead of policies being motivated purely in terms of ‘fixing’ market failures and/or ‘system failures’, policies can be justified and measured in terms of their ability to create and shape markets—with markets as outcomes of the interaction between public, private and third sector actors,” she added

“A market shaping process can benefit from understanding the lessons from the ‘mission oriented’ investments of the past aimed at technological and societal challenges—from putting a man on the moon—to those that are today tackling climate change.”

Her work on mission-oriented innovation policies was cited in the UK’s first industrial strategy, published in November 2017, and she is also currently working with Greg Clarke, UK Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, on ways to transform challenges into missions.

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