Letter to NESTA

Invitation to private dinner

I am writing to invite you to a small, private dinner I am hosting, which will be chaired by Rob Woodward, Chief Executive of STV and NESTA Trustee, at STV’s offices at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, on Wednesday 2 November, beginning at 7pm. The aim of the dinner is to hear the views of a select, but representative, range of people on the strategic role of NESTA in Scotland.

With a mission to promote innovation, NESTA is an independent endowment operating at no cost to the taxpayer, and the UK’s leading expert on how innovation can help solve some of the country’s biggest economic and social challenges. We work towards this goal through a combination of investment in promising early-stage businesses; practical programmes; and research and policy advice. Our work is focused on how innovation, in all its forms, can be deployed to build sustainable economic growth, help our public services deliver more for less, and help our creative industries grow the innovative capacity of the UK. The NESTA method bases our world-leading policy and research on insights generated from our investments or practical programmes.

This is an important time for NESTA and our work in Scotland. As part of the UK Government’s review of public bodies, we are expected to cease being a public body in 2012, moving instead in to the charitable sector. This will present new challenges but also open up new, and exciting, opportunities. I am keen to share some thoughts about how NESTA might operate in future, but am most interested to hear what your own views are about how NESTA might work in Scotland and what our priorities should be.

I hope you will be able to attend but please contact me if you need any more information or if I can be of any assistance.

Kind regards

Geoff Mulgan

*Chief Executive*

1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE


Letter to NESTA from Senscot
August 2011

Dear Philip,

I don’t believe you and I have ever met but my colleague, Aidan Pia, attended the recent event hosted by NESTA in Edinburgh and I hope you don’t mind us sharing with you some thoughts on your role in Scotland.  Our intention is to be constructive.

Looking at a brief inventory of your current work up here (attached) – seeing it assembled, imparts a substance which NESTA doesn’t, in our view, get enough credit for.  This, I think, touches on the main problem – that NESTA has less profile in Scotland than it perhaps merits – that the bits and pieces of work you support are unconnected, with minimal visibility. Unlike in England, NESTA is not regarded as a serious agent of innovation on the Scottish scene.

The specific purpose of this letter is to ask you to consider the open recruitment of a Scotland Committee – to draw up and oversee a strategy for Scotland – which connects with other key players on the landscape up here.  Such a move would recognise that Scotland is different – would focus available resources into a coherent programme – so that NESTA could fulfill its role as a leader of innovation across a whole range of activities.  Depending on the degree of devolution you are comfortable with, a Scotland committee could raise significant funds from devolved budgets, to raise its profile and become a major player.

Senscot has a weekly email bulletin which connects nearly 5000 activists across Scottish civil society. I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss NESTA in Scotland and whether we could assist in any way with the recruitment of a group of individuals to position NESTA as a shaper of Scottish culture.

Best wishes,