Mission-oriented Innovation Policy Observatory

Research Projects

NWO project ‘REWIRE’: Leveraging new collaborations for circular agriculture missions – a multilevel ecosystem approach

REWIRE is a 4-year research project funded by the Dutch research council NWO under its call on ‘Collaboration in mission-driven innovation’. The aim of the project is to develop, from an ecosystem perspective, practically applicable methods that support collaborative activities oriented towards finding new business models and designing appropriate policy frameworks. Special attention will be paid to coordination issues between (supra-)national governments, regional governments, and the various organisations ‘in the field’ – in this case of circular agriculture.

The project relies on several mutually reinforcing lines of research. One work package, for instance, will map existing collaborative structures and then come up with a recommender system that supports network development. Two other work packages focus on the ecosystems of Greenport West-Holland and Foodvalley NL, to determine how parties can innovate together, upgrade their value chains and achieve social impact more effectively. There is also an interlinked work package focusing on governance and the role of policy.

REWIRE is being executed by a broad consortium led by researchers from the Mission-oriented Innovation Policy Observatory. Other research and education partners include Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, HAS Green Academy, and Lentiz MBO Oostland. An important role is also played by over a dozen of public and private social partners.

More info can be found here: NWO funds research on collaboration within circular agriculture missions – News – Utrecht University (uu.nl)


Review of the EU Missions (for European Commission – DG R&I)

The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG R&I) of the European Commission has commissioned a study supporting an assessment of the EU Missions, the review of mission areas and the analysis of the missions’ portfolio of instruments and actions. The study is coordinated by EFIS Centre in co-operation with MIPO (University of Utrecht), KMU Forschung Austria, Visionary Analytics and Claire Nauwelaers.

The five EU Missions covered by this assignment are: Adaptation to Climate Change; Cancer; Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030; 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030; A Soil Deal for Europe.

The study will collect and analyse views, data and evidence on the EU Missions’ selection process, their governance, budget, instruments and methods to catalyse relevant private and public sector activities, focus and progress to date. It will also review the current and future policy relevance of the five selected mission areas. The study will identify what worked well and less well, lessons learned and suggestions for improvement for the short and longer- term of EU Missions’ implementation.

MIPO contributes by providing conceptual and methodological advice and by conducting the review of one of the five mission areas and corresponding mission.


‘TransMission’ approach for mission-based transition management

Together with NewForesight and Nyenrode University, the MIPO has developed a mission-based transition management approach. ‘TransMission’ aims to be a practical, unambiguous, action-oriented and standardised transition approach for pursuing ambitious societal goals. Apart from a paper describing the TransMission framework (see below), also a special training and working book are being developed. Together these outputs form the basis for the TransMission Institute, an initiative for engaging policy makers, businesses, NGO’s and scientist is mission-based transition management.

The English version of the paper introducing the TransMission approach can be found here: Transmission Framework.


Contributions to ‘Partnerships for Regional Innovation’ (for European Commission – Joint Research Centre)

The Partnerships for Regional Innovation (PRI) are a new approach to place-based innovation policy which builds on positive experiences with smart specialisation strategies. The new approach aims to orient smart specialisation towards addressing societal challenges. One of the central pillars concerns ‘Open Discovery Processes and Local Missions’.

MIPO contributes by participating in the expert panel that supports PRI activities and analyses.


Contributions to report on ‘Evaluating systemic and transformative innovation policy’ (for Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy)

Missions, as coordination devices or a ‘supra-layer’ for aligning diverse policy instruments, are an example of innovation policy relying on system change for achieving societal goals (beyond merely enhanced competitiveness and economic growth). How to evaluate such innovation policies is an important but challenging question. At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, an expert panel led by prof. Bas ter Weel has developed a report that describes the difficulties as well as possibilities for evaluating systemic and transformative innovation policies. The report discusses relevant evaluation perspectives, frameworks and methodologies. It serves as the baseline future evaluation requests can refer to when asking for proposals.

MIPO contributed by providing one of the main authors of the report. The report (in Dutch) can be found here: Durf te meten, ga door met leren – Op zoek naar kaders en methoden voor het evalueren van systeem- en transitiebeleid

The report heavily builds on a framework presented in the following publication: