OECD project on the design and implementation of mission-oriented policies to address societal challenges



The OECD Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy (CSTP) launched in 2019 a two-years project on the design, funding and implementation of mission-oriented policy (MOIPs) initiatives to address societal challenges. By allowing a better orientation and co-ordination of public interventions in order to address ambitious societal goals, such initiatives are essential elements of a transformative policy agenda.

The project is composed of three complementary parts:

  1. Definition, identification and categorisation of the different types of MOIPs;
  2. Analysis of the national factors (institutional, financial, political, etc…) that foster or impede the development and implementation of MOIPs;
  3. In-depth cases studies of the design, funding and governance of selected types of MOIPs.

In order to perform these tasks the project team has developed a comprehensive analytical framework composed of four components, building on previous academic work and extensive interactions with policy makers.

A definition of MOIPs. Mission-oriented innovation policies (MOIPs) are defined in this project as a co-ordinated package of research and innovation policy measures aiming to address societal challenges. They possibly span different stages of the innovation cycle from research to demonstration, cut across various policy fields and are implemented in order to meet ambitious and concrete goals in a defined timeframe.

The Terms of reference of MOIPs synthetise the functions they are expected to fulfil in each of the three dimensions of strategic orientation, policy co-ordination and policy implementation. Using the available literature and existing case studies, presents for each of these dimensions the function to be fulfilled and the attributes expected from mission-oriented policies to fulfil the function

Types of MOIPs. A preliminary scan of the policy initiatives that fit at least parts of the definition and derived terms of reference led to the identification of several categories of MOIP initiatives.

Framework conditions for MOIPs. Since MOIPs are deeply embedded in specific institutional settings of national system of innovation, the framework conditions for MOIPs are defined as the set of factors (institutional, financial, political, etc.) that foster or impede the ability of governments to establish MOIPs in their country.

The project will result in a practical framework for identifying, analysing and benchmarking MOIP country landscapes and initiatives; A typology of MOIPs describing the specific design features of MOIPs; national ‘Mission-orientation policy profiles’ in a sample of countries; in-depth case studies of MOIP initiatives.

Drawing on these elements, the project will produce general recommendations on the design, funding mechanisms and modes of governance of MOIPs in different national and thematic contexts.

Project Resources

Design and Implementation of Mission-Oriented Policies to Address Societal Challenges

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Submission Number: 56