James Phipps

James is Deputy Director at the Innovation Growth Lab (IGL).

Since joining IGL in 2016, James has overseen efforts to encourage policymakers to apply an experimental approach within innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth policy. He has worked with government ministries and innovation agencies around the world to develop and evaluate new ideas. 

Notable projects include BEIS’s Business Basics Fund, where James was pivotal to the experimental approach that was used to test and explore many different ways of encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take up productivity-boosting ways of working and technology. 

Before joining Nesta, James was Head of Enterprise Policy Development and Evaluation at the UK Business Department, where he led research into the rationale and effectiveness of public support for entrepreneurship and business growth. He was also instrumental in the department becoming more experimental and rigorous in its evaluation, which included a range of policy experiments from small messaging trials through to the £30m Growth Vouchers Programme.