Transformative Lab programme

Find out about this international initiative that looks at how researchers, policymakers and game-changers can think differently about science, technology and innovation.


A ground-breaking five-year programme of transformative work, coordinated by SPRU, has been launched with the central aim to build an international network dedicated to transformative change, as embodied in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (TIPC) brings together researchers, innovation agencies and policymakers from the Global North and Global South, who are united in their commitment to work together to change how Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) interacts with the UN’s Agenda 2030 to support delivery of the SDGs.

Having completed a successful pilot year, the five-year programme is focussed on shaping STI strategies and systems that do not neglect, side-line or trade-off social and environmental consequences. Current approaches to STI policy, connected with industrial modernity, globalisation and economic growth as a sole measure of progress, have delivered advancement for some, while leaving the stark scar of inequality and environmental degradation across the planet and many of its people.

TIPC’s work shifts away from well-trodden paths, to new directions that revitalise and experiment with fresh assumptions and ideas.The partnership will work together to co-create a new understanding with tools and techniques to develop Transformative Innovation Policy (TIP).

The central strands are

  • experimentation
  • evaluation and metrics
  • capacity building and training
  • an academic research agenda.

Alongside SPRU, the Consortium network currently comprises members from South Africa (NRF and DST), Colombia (Colciencias), Sweden (Vinnova), Finland (Business Finland), Mexico (CONACYT). There are associated projects in China, Norway, Brazil and Panama. Further countries are expected to join the group later in 2018. By interlinking the aims, knowledge and findings from various countries on STI to achieve the SDGs, the network of policymakers, researchers and practitioners working on transformative innovation strengthens and grows to enable and activate more rapid, fundamental change.

Further information

Read about the announcement of TIPC’s five-year programme.

Find out more on the TIPC website and blog.