|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2012)|
Nesta offices at 1 Plough Place, London
|Formation||1998 (15 years ago)|
|Headquarters||1 Plough Place, London|
|Location||London and Dundee|
Nesta (formerly NESTA, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) is an independent charity that works to increase the innovation capacity of the UK.
The organisation acts through a combination of practical programmes, investment, policy and research, and the formation of partnerships to promote innovation across a broad range of sectors.
Nesta was originally funded by a £250 million endowment from the UK National Lottery. The endowment is now kept in trust, and Nesta uses the interest from the trust to meet its charitable objects and to fund and support its projects.
The charity is registered in England and Wales with charity no. 1144091 and in Scotland with no. SC042833
On 14 October 2010 the Government announced that it would transfer old NESTA's status from an executive non-departmental public body to a new charitable body.
On April 1, 2012 the old NESTA transitioned from being an executive to a charitable body, changing its name to Nesta, and dropping the long title.
Nesta currently operates in the following areas:
Nesta's Policy and Research team publish regular research papers on how innovation can boost economic growth.
Most recently it published Plan I, an innovation manifesto for the UK, and the latest Innovation Index figures, which showed that there had been a £24bn drop in innovation funding in the last decade.
The charity runs an impact investment fund - Nesta Investment Management, - which invests in social ventures with innovative products or services that address the following three challenges: an ageing population; the employability of young people; and the sustainability of UK communities.
It also works to support young, innovative businesses - either directly through investment or indirectly by supporting the environment for early stage ventures to grow.
Nesta runs practical programmes to find innovative ways of delivering cheaper, more efficient public services, and demonstrating how these can scaled up across the UK.
Recent examples of their work includes the Innovation in Giving fund, in partnership with the Cabinet Office, which seeks to find and support new platforms for the giving of time, skills and money. They also run an education programme, looking at how children can be taught to become digital makers, and how the education system can benefit from digital technology.
In the past they ran The Big Green Challenge, a £1 million prize fund to stimulate community action on climate change.
Nesta also specialises in original research into the UK's creative industries, and runs practical programmes to help the sector.
In February 2011 Nesta produced Next Gen, in association with Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope, which helped start the debate about teaching UK schoolchildren to learn how to code. The report specifically called for ways to protect the future of the UK's video games and video effects industries by arguing for, among other things, the introduction of computer science teaching in schools.
It is runs the Digital R&D Fund, in partnersip with Arts Council, and also runs the Creative Business Mentoring Network, which pairs mentees from creative companies with experienced business leaders.