The Cabinet Office’s ‘nudge unit’, set up to encourage people to carry out activities such as volunteering or giving to charity, will be spun out as a mutual.
The department has launched a competition to find a commercial partner for the Behavioural Insights Team, set up three years ago to encourage people to make better choices without using legislation.
The initiative will be run as a joint venture between the government, its employees and a third-party partner.
The Cabinet Office said in a statement that demand for the team had grown significantly over the past three years and it had developed a reputation as a world leader in its field.
Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, said: "To get Britain back on the rise we must find innovative models, such as mutuals and joint ventures, that can deliver services better and more efficiently while supporting growth in the economy.
"The Behavioural Insights Team is world-renowned. Under a joint venture business model, we will combine the benefits of private sector experience and investment with the innovation and commitment from staff leadership to develop a sustainable growth business."