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Nesta unveils 10-year strategy to harness innovation for good of millions

Melanie May | 3 March 2021 | News

Nesta has this week launched a ten-year strategy with the aim of harnessing innovation to change the lives of millions.
Nesta will work in partnership with government, industry, academia and the public, private and voluntary sectors to design, test and scale innovations, focusing on three defining societal challenges:

  1. A fairer start – aiming to narrow the outcome gap between young children growing up in disadvantage and the national average, with a goal of eliminating the school readiness gap between those born into deprivation and their peers by 2030.
  2. A healthy life – aiming to increase the average number of healthy years lived in the UK while narrowing health inequalities, with a goal of halving obesity by 2030.
  3. A sustainable future – aiming to accelerate the decarbonisation of household activities in the UK, with a goal by 2030 of the UK having reduced household carbon emissions by 28% from 2019 levels and being on track to reach zero by 2048.

Ravi Gurumurthy, Chief Executive of Nesta, (pictured) said:

“Over the past decade, Nesta has developed methods and capabilities that can drive innovation for social good. Today, we know far more about how to mobilise and influence citizens, harness data, and use private and public capital more creatively.
“In our next chapter, we will be focused on applying those capabilities to three defining questions facing the UK: how we build a sustainable economy, how we give every child a fair start, and how we help people live healthy lives. Each requires new ways of working, new products and services, new business models, and new ways of engaging citizens.
“By working with a diverse network of partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors, we will generate ideas, test them rigorously, and help them grow to scale.”


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Nesta has identified three new ways of working: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions hand in hand with those who will use them; as a venture builder, creating, supporting and investing in early-stage ventures to develop new solutions and to shift key markets; and as a system shaper, influencing policy, practice and funding, to support and promote innovation.
Gurumurthy continued:

“We hope our work can directly lead to solutions that change the lives of millions of people, as well as shaping the policies, institutions and thinking that guide innovation. We look forward to sharing our successes and failures, and learning together.”

The full strategy can be accessed on Nesta’s site.