Innovation Bureaucracies: How agile stability creates entrepreneurial states

This is an event in the Economics Research Seminar series taking place at Leeds University Business School on 14 November 2018

You are invited to a seminar by Rainer Kattel from the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose on ‘Innovation Bureaucracies: How agile stability creates entrepreneurial states’

All welcome! Refreshments will be provided for participants in the seminar. 


If you have successfully avoided the urge to print this abstract out, you owe your reading experience to the forward-thinking investment of governments. Much of the technology in your reading device was funded either directly by the public sector or is a spillover from this funding. It may have been commercialised and packaged into new desirable and useful products, but the fundamental technologies that makes our modern devices “smart” were publicly funded. This was set out in Mariana Mazzucato’s highly influential The Entrepreneurial State which showed that governments can be — and are — essential actors in co-shaping the direction of innovation. But what makes states entrepreneurial? What is it that makes government machinery dynamic and bold enough to shape the future of innovation?

To manage the uncertainties of innovation and to tackle complex societal challenges through innovation, governments may need to both support innovation in markets through effective implementation of innovation polices and pursue innovations in public policies, institutions and organizations. It is highly difficult to develop and sustain capabilities for both of these tasks within a single organization, or through universal management principles across organizations but this has not stopped innovation policy scholars from developing one-size-fits-all recipes. This presentation will argue that we might gain a more systematic understanding of this governance challenge by focusing on the organizational configurations of ‘innovation bureaucracies’ and their varieties in different capitalist systems.


For further information, please contact Helen Greaves at

About the speaker

Rainer Kattel is Deputy Director at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose.

Rainer is professor of innovation and public governance at IIPP, and research professor at Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia.

He has studied at the University of Tartu, Estonia, and University of Marburg, Germany, in philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration.

He led Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region.

Professor Kattel has also served on various public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council, and is a member of governing boards at Tallinn University of Technology and Estonian Academy of Arts.

He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues.