Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Public sector capabilities for net zero missions

13 June 2024, 10:30 am–12:30 pm

Public sector capabilities for net zero missions

Join IIPP for this IIPP Forum 2024's plenary sessions, taking place on Thursday 13 June at 10:30 - 12:30 BST.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to









Wellcome Collection
183 Euston Road
United Kingdom

IIPP 2024 Forum

As part of the IIPP Forum 2024, IIPP is hosting five plenary sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to rethink existing policy systemsand explore whattransformative ‘market shaping’ policy approaches look like in practice.

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About the session

While debated from both a political and policy perspective, the rise of 'missions' as a vehicle for rethinking the state is now reflectedinthe widespread adoption of green strategies that embody new ways of doing innovation & industrial policy.​

Across the OECD alone, more than 80 'net-zero missions' have been adopted across 20 countries that target large reductions ingreenhousegas emissions by 2030. To do so, they aim to decarbonize entire industrial sectors; restructure energy systems; advancesustainable circulationof material resources; and create fertile conditions for climate adaptation or mitigation. Such 'net-zero missions' constitutean enormous yetuntapped repository of evidence on how public organizations are actively developing new capacities and capabilities to drivethe green transitionforward.​

During the first 30 minutes, this session presented IIPP’s research in developing a Public Sector Capability Index and shareed IIPP researchto date on capability building for net zero missions across the OECD. This part of the session was also available for the online audience. The rest of the session was structured in interactive panel workshops, which, per their interactive nature, was only be accessible to the audience attending in person.The workshops focused on casesexploringthe work of four net-zero national missions from Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and France.

Meet the panel

Join our expert panel of scholars and policy makers including, National Challenge Fund Manager atScience Foundation Ireland,, Senior Policy Advisor in Energy Innovation at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, , Innovation Fund Denmark, , Coordinator of the national strategies at theGeneral Secretariat for Investment (SGPI),Rainer Kattel, IIPP Co-Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance,andIacopo GronchiSenior Policy Expert and PhD candidate at IIPP.

Key information

  • When:Thursday 13 June at 10:30 - 12:30 BST.
  • Where:, 183 Euston Rd., London NW1 2BE

Read more about IIPP Forum 2024

About the Speakers

Stephen O’Driscoll

National Challenge Fund Manager at Science Foundation Ireland

Stephen O'Driscoll
Dr Stephen O’Driscoll leads the National Challenge Fund (NCF) at Science Foundation Ireland. The NCF is a €65M challenge research programme established by the Irish Government under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Stephen has significant experience in research valorisation with a particular interest in research translation and entrepreneurship. Stephen has played a central role in the development and growth of SFI’s challenge research capabilities and has designed and led several national challenge programmes including SFI’s inaugural challenge programme, the Future Innovator Prize. Prior to his current role, Stephen held roles in several SFI programmes supporting industry-academia collaborative research and entrepreneurship. Stephen established the I-Corps@SFI partnership which made SFI the first funding agency outside the US to officially partner with the US National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corp (NSF I-Corps) programme. Before joining SFI, Stephen worked in research, science education and outreach.

Marjolein van Splunder

Senior Policy Advisor in Energy Innovation at The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs

Marjolein van Splunder
Marjolein van Splunder is a senior policy advisor at the Energy Transition Strategy Directorate of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate in the Netherlands. In this role, she is responsible for translating the Dutch CO2 net-zero missions into annual programming specifically for energy-innovation funding. Additionally, she oversees the governance of the net-zero mission through various forums that bring together government institutions, businesses, and the scientific community to achieve these ambitions. She collaborates closely with the Topsector Energy of the Netherlands, which plays a crucial role in the mission-oriented approach.

Prior to her government position, Marjolein worked as a consultant at PwC Netherlands. In this diverse role, she managed multiple projects and stakeholders at different multinational companies, developing international HR strategies in the fields of employment tax, immigration, and social security. This experience has made her a flexible and versatile advisor.

Marjolein's career began in journalism, with her first job as a journalist for the Dutch Financial Times newspaper’s energy edition (Financieel Dagblad – Energeia). Here, she gained essential knowledge about the energy sector and the transition towards renewable energy.

Anette Engelund-Friis

Innovation Fund Denmark

Enette Engelund
Anette Engelund Friis is Mission Director for the AgriFoodTure partnership. She has been working on finding solutions to the climate challenge for more than 15 years, through working in partnerships and with stakeholders along the value chain, including government and civil society. Previous to this job, she was a Senior Operations Officer for the World Bank’s Climate Funds Management Unit for three years, Head of Partnerships and Outreach for the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security for four years, and she has also worked for the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, the World Farmers Organisation, and the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Mathieu Brandibat ​

Coordinator of the national strategies at General Secretariat for Investment (SGPI)

Mathieu Brandibat
Mathieu Brandibat is engaged to ease the ecological transitions. Specialized in the management of information systems, he worked as a consultant within fields such as the valorization of innovation and the utilities sector. Then he joined the public sector : first at the ADEME (French Agency dedicated to the ecological transition) prior to be part of the Prime Minister services at the General Secretariat for Investment – SGPI – in charge of the national plan “France 2030” (€ 54 bn) which paves an ambitious way for R&D, innovation and industrialization. Mathieu is in charge of the lever “secure the access to raw materials”, as the coordinator of the national strategies « recycling and reincorporation of materials » and « Bio based products and industrial biotechnologies - sustainable aerofuels", and other actions related to critical metals, plastics and water.

Rainer Kattel

Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)

Rainer Kattel
Rainer Kattel is Deputy Director and Professor of Innovation and Public Governance at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). He has studied at the University of Tartu, Estonia, and the University of Marburg, Germany, in philosophy, political philosophy, classics and public administration.He led Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance for 10 years, building it into one of the leading innovation and governance schools in the region. Professor Kattel has also served on various public policy commissions, including the Estonian Research Council and European Science Foundation. He has worked as an expert for the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission, and served as a member of E-Estonia Council advising the Prime Minister of Estonia. Currently, he leads the Estonian Government’s Gender Equality Council. He has published extensively on innovation policy, its governance and specific management issues. In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy.

Iacopo Gronchi

PhD Student at Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP)

Iacopo is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). He's interested into forms of collective action that can accelerate and steer the direction of socio-technical innovation.In this respect, his work adopts a transdisciplinary approach – cutting through innovation, governance, management, and organisational studies. At the same time, Iacopo strives to bridge the depth of academic thinking with a sharp focus on everyday practice. In his parallel role as senior policy expert at think tank, Iacopo hasprovided advice to a vast range of stakeholders – including the,, and the. Iacopo holds two graduate degrees in social sciences and political economy from Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies and the University of Florence. Beforehand, he has worked across politics, the public sector, and academia.

Iacopo's PhD explores the governance and management of net-zero missions.In the last decade, public organisations across OECD countries have launched +80 missions that aim to achieve carbon neutrality in a short- to medium-time frame. However, there is still limited evidence on how such programmes can be designed and implemented effectively.In this context, Iacopo's research aims to advance two goals. The first is developing a set of heuristics that synthesise initial hypotheses and emergent learnings to support mission management practice.The second is engaging with practitioners on the ground in order to analyse their operational challenges and co-create with them potential ways forward.By doing so, Iacopo aims to empower political and administrative leaders with a hands-on strategy framework that can help them pursue net-zero missions successfully.

More about Iacopo Gronchi