Experimentation in European Innovation Policy

In January 2023 we launched a three-year project with the European Commission (Directorate-General of Research and Innovation) to promote the use of policy experimentation as a tool embedded in Research and Innovation policies across Europe. Experimentation as an approach has not been widely applied in R&I policy, hindering efforts to further improve Europe’s R&I performance. To be more impactful, these policy actions would benefit from a wider deployment of policy experimentation across the EU R&I policy and via the actions and instruments funded through it. 

The ambitious project aims at helping the European Commission to embed more policy experimentation in their future Work Programmes and ensuring citizen engagement in achieving the EU’s five Missions. Lessons from the project will be instrumental for the potential inclusion of more experimentation actions funded by the EU, as well as for providing lessons more broadly about policy experimentation and citizen engagement in mission-oriented innovation. To reach these objectives, we are collaborating with Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design to develop a series of impactful activities. 

We are creating actionable guidelines and policy recommendations, based on a thorough review of evidence and our multi-year experience in the field, on how to embed policy experimentation as a valuable tool for policymaking. We are also growing our understanding of citizens' attitudes to citizen engagement and experimentation through a multi-country survey and using resulting insights to develop three experiments to test citizen engagement in EU missions.