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Are we really making a difference? Lessons from Nesta’s Innovation Lab Presentation by Philip Colligan ThinkFest: Launch o...
Are we really making a difference?
•Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation 
•We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life 
•We do this by prov...
•Innovation policy 
•Government innovation 
•Inclusive economic growth 
•Opportunities for young people 
•Health and agein...
Nesta Innovation Lab 
•Open innovation and challenge prizes 
•Funds and practical support to innovative ventures 
•Innovat...
Since 2009: 
•70 challenges, funds and programmes 
•750 innovations supported 
Currently: 
•17 live challenges, funds and ...
Are we really making a difference?
How to avoid being interesting, but irrelevant?
The challenge?
Scaling reach & impact 
Policy & systems change 
Developing and spreading models 
Strengthening innovation capabilities 
G...
Generating useful knowledge Activities: Research outputs, horizon scanning, insights from practical work, feedback, trials...
Creating novel ideas Activities: Challenge prizes, open calls, prototyping, practical programmes, direct commissioning of ...
Promising innovations reaching and benefiting more people Activities: Grant funds, impact investments Metrics: Innovations...
Influencing policy and systems change Activities: Practical programmes, policy recommendations, new statistical measures, ...
Strengthening innovation capabilities and skills Activities: Practical programmes, training, publication of toolkits, prac...
Developing and spreading effective models of innovation Activities: Codification of methods, training, consultancy, public...
Scaling reach & impact 
Policy & systems change 
Developing and spreading models 
Strengthening innovation capabilities 
G...
Category of impact 
Examples of activities 
Examples of metrics 
Generating useful knowledge 
Research outputs, horizon sc...
Are we really making a difference?
Thank you www.nesta.org.uk @nesta_uk philip.colligan@nesta.org.uk @philipcolligan
Are we really making a difference? Lessons from Nesta's Innovation Lab
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Are we really making a difference? Lessons from Nesta's Innovation Lab

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Presentation by Philip Colligan, an Executive Director of Nesta's Innovation Lab, given on 8 October at the launch of Social Spaces 2014. The launch was part of ThinkFest - an event hosted by the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at Singapore Management University.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Are we really making a difference? Lessons from Nesta's Innovation Lab

  1. 1. Are we really making a difference? Lessons from Nesta’s Innovation Lab Presentation by Philip Colligan ThinkFest: Launch of Social Spaces 2014 Hosted by the Lien Centre for Social Innovation Singapore Management University 8 October 2014
  2. 2. Are we really making a difference?
  3. 3. •Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation •We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life •We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills •Independently funded through an endowment provided by the National Lottery
  4. 4. •Innovation policy •Government innovation •Inclusive economic growth •Opportunities for young people •Health and ageing •Digital arts and media •Citizen engagement in public services
  5. 5. Nesta Innovation Lab •Open innovation and challenge prizes •Funds and practical support to innovative ventures •Innovation programmes •Systemic change and combinations of methods
  6. 6. Since 2009: •70 challenges, funds and programmes •750 innovations supported Currently: •17 live challenges, funds and programmes •Actively supporting 144 innovations •Represents £17.8m direct investment •54 staff
  7. 7. Are we really making a difference?
  8. 8. How to avoid being interesting, but irrelevant?
  9. 9. The challenge?
  10. 10. Scaling reach & impact Policy & systems change Developing and spreading models Strengthening innovation capabilities Generating useful knowledge Creating novel solutions
  11. 11. Generating useful knowledge Activities: Research outputs, horizon scanning, insights from practical work, feedback, trials, evaluations Metrics: Reach (downloads, targeted audience), originality, take up of ideas (surveys, anecdotal)
  12. 12. Creating novel ideas Activities: Challenge prizes, open calls, prototyping, practical programmes, direct commissioning of innovations Metrics: Diversity and volume of solutions generated, novelty and adaptation of previous innovations, plausibility of theories of change, results from prototyping
  13. 13. Promising innovations reaching and benefiting more people Activities: Grant funds, impact investments Metrics: Innovations reaching and benefiting more people, increased evidence of impact (Standards of Evidence), increased financial sustainability
  14. 14. Influencing policy and systems change Activities: Practical programmes, policy recommendations, new statistical measures, coalition building, campaigns, influencing and engaging stakeholders Metrics: Policy changes achieved, regulatory and other systems changes, strength of coalitions, changes in behaviour
  15. 15. Strengthening innovation capabilities and skills Activities: Practical programmes, training, publication of toolkits, practice guides, networks of practitioners Metrics: Reach (downloads, targeted audience), changes to individual and organisational capacities to innovate
  16. 16. Developing and spreading effective models of innovation Activities: Codification of methods, training, consultancy, publication of toolkits, practice guides, networks of practitioners Metrics: Reach (downloads, targeted audience), adoption of methods
  17. 17. Scaling reach & impact Policy & systems change Developing and spreading models Strengthening innovation capabilities Generating useful knowledge Creating novel solutions
  18. 18. Category of impact Examples of activities Examples of metrics Generating useful knowledge Research outputs, horizon scanning, insights from practical work, feedback, trials, evaluations Reach (downloads, targeted audience), originality, take up of ideas (surveys, anecdotal) Creating novel ideas Challenge prizes, open calls, prototyping, practical programmes, direct commissioning of innovations Diversity and volume of solutions generated, novelty and adaptation of previous innovations, plausibility of theories of change, results from prototyping Promising innovations reaching and benefiting more people Grant funds, impact investments Innovations reaching and benefiting more people, increased evidence of impact (Standards of Evidence), increased financial sustainability Influencing policy and systems change Practical programmes, policy recommendations, new statistical measures, coalition building, campaigns, influencing and engaging stakeholders Policy changes achieved, regulatory and other systems changes, strength of coalitions, changes in behaviour Strengthening innovation capabilities and skills Practical programmes, training, publication of toolkits, practice guides, networks of practitioners Reach (downloads, targeted audience), changes to individual and organisational capacities to innovate Developing and spreading effective models of innovation Codification of methods, training, consultancy, publication of toolkits, practice guides, networks of practitioners Reach (downloads, targeted audience), adoption of methods
  19. 19. Are we really making a difference?
  20. 20. Thank you www.nesta.org.uk @nesta_uk philip.colligan@nesta.org.uk @philipcolligan

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