jammy goodness

Having an impact on UK innovation policy
September 23, 2009, 1:18 pm
Filed under: policy

Jason Potts, Principal Research Fellow at CCI, and Kate Morrison, of Vulture Street Innovation, have achieved direct influence on the evolution of innovation policy in the UK. Their paper, Nudging Innovation, was published earlier this year by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) as a theoretical framework to examine the role of creative innovation services in stimulating innovation in the wider economy. The paper sets out an argument that behavioural biases can make it difficult for SMEs to adopt best practice innovation processes. It further argues that innovation services provided by creative businesses can help address these behavioural failures to improve the innovation performance of firms in non-creative sectors.

One of the conclusions of the paper is that vouchers can be used on a one‐off basis to ‘nudge’ firms towards increased use of innovation services. NESTA has now launched a world-first programme, known as Creative Credits, to test this hypothesis as a rigorous policy experiment. Creative Credits helps Manchester-based small businesses to develop their ideas by offering vouchers (or credits) to the value of £4,000, supplementing an investment from the business itself of £1,000. Firms use the credits to purchase creative services from local providers, showcased in an online gallery. Data will be collected on the innovation performance of both the firms that receive the credits and those that are unsuccessful (as a control group) so the impact of the increased use of creative services can be measured. This experiment will help UK policy makers decide whether innovation vouchers should be made more widely available.


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