Experimental approaches are increasingly being adopted across many policy fields, but innovation policy has been lagging. This paper reviews the case for policy experimentation in this field, describes the different types of experiments that can be undertaken, discusses some of the unique challenges to the use of experimental approaches in innovation policy, and summarizes some of the emerging lessons, with a focus on randomized trials. The paper concludes describing how at the Innovation Growth Lab we have been working with governments across the OECD to help them overcome the barriers to policy experimentation in order to make their policies more impactful.
Albert is the founding director of the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL), a global initiative based at Nesta that brings together governments, foundations and researchers to develop and test new approaches to increase innovation, support high-growth entrepreneurship, and accelerate business growth. IGL aims to make innovation and growth policy more experimental and evidence-based, in order to improve the design of the programmes and institutions that help to make our economies more innovative and entrepreneurial.
Since joining Nesta in 2007, his work has been at the intersection of innovation, growth and finance. Prior to setting up the Innovation Growth Lab, he was senior economist and led two of Nesta’s major research programmes in this area, one exploring business growth dynamics and its drivers in the UK and internationally, the other examining the contribution of intangible assets to productivity growth.
Among others, his research has also looked at the drivers of venture capital performance, the linkages between financial institutions and innovative performance, and the effectiveness of innovation policy.
Albert holds a PhD and AM in Economics from Harvard University, a MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. He is guest professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, visiting fellow at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, and member of the UK Cross-Government Trials Advice Panel. He has also been visiting economist at the OECD and consultant for the World Bank.