Making Innovation Policy Work

Learning from Experimentation

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This book explores emerging topics in innovation policy for more inclusive and sustainable growth, building on concrete examples. It develops the notion of experimental innovation policy – which integrates monitoring and feedback at the policy design stage, and occurs continuously to improve impact and implementation. This approach should help improve the quality and efficiency of public expenditures supporting innovation policy.

Experimental policy making is particularly important for new and emerging innovation domains, where the scope for learning and improvement is the greatest. To make the discussion as concrete and relevant as possible for practitioners and policy makers, three emerging domains of innovation policy are explored in greater detail: innovative entrepreneurship, green innovation, and pro-poor or base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) innovation.


Supporting affordable biotechnology innovations: Learning from global collaboration and local experience

This chapter describes policy initiatives of India’s Department of Biotechnology for adapting and commercialising biotechnologies to provide affordable quality solutions for local needs in health care, agriculture, industry and the environment. In selected policy areas, India’s promotion of global consortia involving local and foreign firms, universities and public research entities supported by domestic public/private partnerships, appears to have been critical in spurring learning, including about structured research protocols that lead to commercial products. The chapter argues that governments and firms need to better learn from evolving local experience through more rigorous performance measurement. This includes the more systematic incorporation of lessons from impact evaluation in project and programme design (with explicit metrics to report and learn from failure), and the institutionalisation in project and programme implementation of “diagnostic monitoring” routines for continuous improvement through redesign.


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