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Scotland risks funding moonshots to nowhere


Plan to create a mission-oriented investment bank is vague and opaque, says Ross Brown

‘Mission-oriented’ has become the phrase du jour in innovation policy. It’s seen as a way to address complex societal problems such as climate change and inequality by tasking public organisations with specific goals.

Mission-oriented policies are associated with driving radical technological breakthroughs. They envision innovation as a linear process, with basic research at one end and economic success at the other. It’s all about throwing big science at big problems—moonshots, to use another term being bandied about a lot lately.

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