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TIPC Nordic members team up for shared learning on transformative missions

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Innovation experts from Vinnova, Business Finland and The Research Council of Norway share experience and best practice to inform benchmarking of missions and other transformative activities

Analysts, advisors and strategic leaders from TIPC’s Nordic hub gathered online this month for an extended learning workshop on the theme of transformative missions. Participants reflected on their experience of developing and implementing missions with a transformative agenda, sharing insights and experience. The event strengthened networks between members and advanced a shared understanding of designing and implementing missions orientated to systemic change.

Exploring transformative missions

Paula Kivimaa, Research Professor at the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and member of the Finnish Climate Change Panel, opened the event with insights on the historical emergence of transformative and mission-orientated innovation policies (TIP and MOIP), highlighting how both address environmental and social transitions as key objectives.

Paula, who is also Associate at SPRU, set out the need for co-ordinated packages of research and innovation policy measures to be transformative, creating processes and mixes that address systemic change and creating connections across actions and sectors.

In the group discussion that followed, participants noted the challenges of coordinating mission-orientated activity at national and intergovernmental levels and across public and private sectors – and of aligning visions across different interest groups.

Sharing learning from practice

In Part 2 of the workshop, TIPC board members from Vinnnova, Business Finland and The Research Council of Norway introduced a series of case presentations, each setting out contextual experience of designing and implementing mission-orientated activities with a transformative focus.

  • For Business Finland, this included learnings from the new mission approach and first two pilot missions: ‘Carbon Neutral Finland’ and ‘Increase in Productivity through Digitalisation’.
  • For Vinnova, the focus was on Impact Innovation, a new actor-driven and long-term strategic innovation initiative, designed to contribute to Sweden’s global competitiveness through the transition to sustainable development.
  • For The Research Council of Norway, the involved sharing insights from ‘trying transformations’ through the Digital Life Norway and Center for Responsible Research and Innovation in Norway (AFINO) initiatives.

Live reflection and discussion

The workshop concluded with a series of group discussions, drawing on the case presentations to explore a series of questions on topics including the governance of missions, evaluation and scope for enhancing the transformative potential of missions and actions.

Teppo Tuomikoski, Senior Advisor at Business Finland, said: “It was great to have a meeting on an important topic and with a widened participation. Gathering together – whether virtually or face-to-face – is always good for learning and definitely gave a lot of food for thought on how to be even more transformative.”

There will be a second workshop in November, focusing on the broader context including coherence with other relevant actions. Details to follow.