Whitehall 'should have risk funds'

Government departments should be given designated venture capital budgets so they can fund innovations without putting public money at risk, a new report says.

Social Innovation: new approaches to transforming public services is a joint policy briefing published today by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and the Young Foundation.

According to the briefing, government is perceived to be risk-averse and "more at ease with bureaucracy, rules and regulations than an open culture of experimentation, creativity and innovation".

Richard Halkett, executive director of policy and research at Nesta and report co-author, said: "Innovation involves risk and risk means that there will be failure in some cases."

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