On 18 February the Policy Learning Platform hosted a webinar on the topics of mission-oriented innovation policies. These policies are known for their ambitious objective to foster disruptive and breakthrough innovations. Especially, Professor Mariana Mazzucato popularised this concept in 2018, when she wrote a European Commission report titled Mission-oriented research & innovation in the European Union. We invited several European experts to discuss this topic, watch the replay below. 

Webinar agenda overview

00:07:25 Overview of the concept mission-oriented innovation policies by Arnault Morisson

00:15:30 Presentation by Elvira Uyarra on how to apply mission-oriented policies at the regional level

00:28:55 Q&A: Are there any tips you could give on how lacking regions could develop mission-oriented innovation policies? 

00:32:45 Q&A: Would it be right to say that a characteristic of mission oriented innovation policies is a careful and drastic selection of priorities?

00:35:00 Presentation by Šárka Tomanová on Ekologis – a City Logistics Project in Prague

00:47:05 Q&A: Are there tips you can give how you managed to handle so many different stakeholders in your project to agree to a pilot and participate? 

00:49:47 Q&A: Mission-oriented policy seems a very long term challenge, especially for small regions. How to react in case of sudden, unexpected problems, local problems? How to get ready for this?

00:52:00 Presentation by Nathalie Boulanger on Ambition Research Development 2020

Panel discussion

01:12:50 Q&A: How can regions mobilise funds to apply Mission-Oriented Innovation Policies in their territories?

01:21:50 Q&A: Are missions more top down or bottom up? If bottom up what processes are needed to decide the missions? 

01:29:00 Final conclusions by thematic experts Marc Pattinson and Arnault Morisson

Presentations 

The webinar started with an introduction of the Policy Learning Platform thematic expert, Arnault Morisson, joined by Policy Learning Platform thematic expert Marc Pattinson

Key learnings

The emerging concept of mission-oriented policies will be one of the most important concepts in the next programming period 2021-2027, namely through the European Union (EU) Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe. Regional policymakers have an important role to play in shaping missions for their regions. 

From this webinar, we can highlight six insights on how regional policymakers can promote mission-oriented innovation policies in their regions

  • Mission-oriented innovation policies are not a one-size-fits-all policy. They are most appropriate for regions that already have a critical mass of innovative actors, a well-functioning innovation ecosystem, and good public institutions.
  • The concept of mission-oriented innovation policies offers regions the opportunity to experiment with new policy approaches and integrated strategies to solve regional societal challenges.
  • The next programming period 2021-2027 offers regions the opportunity to introduce the concept of mission-oriented innovation policies in their smart specialisation strategies (S3).
  • Top-down or bottom-up mission-oriented policies? Missions must involve quadruple helix stakeholders in the definition of missions to solve the <most pressing regional societal challenges. In Horizon Europe, each mission includes a mission board with triple helix stakeholders and involves the participation of civil society
  • Regions should take the opportunity to develop synergies between thematic areas in order to fully address the mission-oriented innovation challenges, for example addressing traffic congestion issues in city centres needs to take into account policy that address mobility, tourism, retail, logistics, etc…
  • Interregional cooperation can help identify and tackle mission-oriented challenges as these are not always limited to ‘administrative’ boundaries and co-development and co-investment solutions are often required. 

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Image credit: Photo by Guillaume Meurice from Pexels