The entrepreneurial state – a new framework for innovation policy

Couldn’t make it? Watch a video recording of the event here.

In her international bestselling book The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths (2013, Anthem Press) Professor Mariana Mazzucato (Sussex University) claimed that various states have been entrepreneurial and successful in promoting technological revolutions and innovation-led growth. Too often public discourse in many countries has failed to acknowledge the entrepreneurial role being played by public agencies. This, she argues, has then misinformed innovation policies, but also fed inequality because the returns to innovation are not always shared in proportion to the collective risk taking process. States should be courageous and strategic, encouraging a dynamic debate about future directions of innovation, and confident in finding new ways to make smart growth also more inclusive growth. 

Mazzucato has pointed out that historically one of the most successful entrepreneurial states can be found in the United States, where strategic and mission-oriented public investment has shaped and created new technological opportunities and markets. Public investment created technological revolutions in ICT, biotechnology and nanotechnology, and private venture capital played a key part only after the initial public investments. Every technology that makes Apple’s iPhone so “smart” was government funded: the internet, GPS, its touch-screen display and the voice-activated Siri. And internationally today we see various public agencies, from public banks in China and Germany to ARPA-E in the US, taking the lead in what is becoming a green technology revolution. 

In her keynote lecture “The entrepreneurial state – a new framework for innovation policy” Professor Mazzucato will discuss the entrepreneurial state framework for innovation, and make the case for more innovative, inclusive and sustainable capitalism. Mazzucato’s new book, edited with Michael Jacobs, is called Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth (July 2016, Wiley-Blackwell). Her work on the Entrepreneurial State and more recent work on state investment banks and mission-oriented innovation can be found on her webpage

Sitra fellow Timo J. Hämäläinen and Professor Erkki Ormala (Aalto University) will comment Mazzucato`s lecture.

This public event is organised by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Kalevi Sorsa Foundation and the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes.


14:00-14:05   Welcome
14:05-14:35   The entrepreneurial state – a new framework for innovation policy
Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Sussex University
14:35-14:45   Finnish Comment
Professor Erkki Ormala, Aalto University
14:45-15:00   Questions and answers
15:00-15:10   Time to renew Finnish innovation and industrial policy? (in Finnish)
Sitra Fellow Timo Hämäläinen, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
15:10-15:45   Panel discussion (in Finnish)
Researcher Antti Alaja, Kalevi Sorsa Foundation
Sitra Fellow Timo Hämäläinen, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Professor Erkki Ormala, Aalto University

Chief Advisor Christopher Palmberg, Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation

What's this about?