Accelerating mission-driven innovation

Methodologies, models, and tools used by regional innovation ecosystems to realise economic growth and societal impact.

From climate change and the energy transition, to cybercrime and the increasing costs of healthcare, our society is facing numerous challenges. To tackle them, we need innovations that are both economically viable and beneficial to society. Innovation policies were initially designed to foster economic growth by stimulating innovations only for economic profit. This began to change when Maria Mazzucato developed an alternative innovation policy framework, focusing on the stimulation and acceleration of innovations with a societal impact. The so-called mission-driven innovation strategy advises European innovation policies to shift their focus from economically attractive innovations to innovations that have this societal and economic balance so the region can be prepared to confront our modern challenges as they develop.

The Netherlands is committed to the mission-driven innovation approach, developing six mission-based Knowledge and Innovation Agendas (KIA). Four of the six KIAs are thematic and focus on the Energy transition & Sustainability; Health & Healthcare; Food, Water & Agriculture; and Cyber Security. The other two agendas are supportive and focus on (1) Key Enabling Technologies and (2) Mission-driven innovation management (KIA MV). As consultants in European innovation since 1988, the Bax & Company team has used its expertise to support the definition of the work programme and is currently managing the implementation of the KIA MV programme.

The KIA MV aims to accelerate and scale-up innovations with societal and economic impact. The programme stimulates the development, testing and dissemination of new and renewed innovation methods, models and tools. Bax & Company contributed to strengthening state-of-the-art knowledge, which has led to the following five aspects characterising mission-driven innovation:

To create an overview of existing practices and effective methods, models, and tools, Bax & Company conducted over 20 interviews and collected roughly 50 surveys at regional innovation ecosystems. The data showed that there is an interest in mission-driven innovation, aiming at the double baseline, realising economic growth, and creating societal impact. 

Even with an increased knowledge of the dos and don’ts in mission-driven innovation, many questions about realising and accelerating this type of innovation remain. There are ample tools and instruments that can guide innovation ecosystems on scaling mission-driven innovation.

The KIA MV therefore focuses on:

The KIA MV programme consists of three interacting work packages focused on researching, experimenting with and implementing methods and tools for mission-driven innovation.

If you’d like to know more, reach out to the Managing Director of our Dutch office, Kees Joosten:

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