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The Latin American Network of Innovation Agencies (RELAI) was created as part of a technical cooperation project within the Regional Public Goods (RPGs) framework, whose executive organization is the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB continues to support RELAI’s operations by organizing, coordinating, and financing its main activities. RELAI provides a framework for collaboration, in which innovation agency authorities and professionals from the IDB can be in permanent contact and work efficiently to facilitate growth in member agencies. With the support of the IDB, RELAI has been able to facilitate a bottom-up approach by identifying the needs and requirements of innovation member agencies. At the same time, the IDB, through RELAI, has provided knowledge through its extensive relationships with experts, international organizations, and networks. By taking a top-down approach, it has introduced the knowledge agenda in the areas most closely related to innovation, such as blended financing, mission-oriented research, open innovation, and innovative public procurement, among others.
RELAI has established and formalized a partnership with the European Network of Innovation Agencies (TAFTIE), comprised of 31 organizations from 28 European countries. The combination of our networks, data, research skills, and experience will help to strengthen the project and will generate new ideas for innovation policymakers in the region and throughout the world. The trajectory and experience of TAFTIE member agencies have demonstrated the importance for RELAI of joining a broader network of innovation agencies, with greater scope for cooperative work.
NESTA is the United Kingdom’s foundation for innovation. NESTA works in areas where society faces substantial challenges, from cutting-edge personalized medical care to extended public services and a rapidly changing labor market. In May 2016, this organization published a report entitled How Innovation Agencies Work. This report provides a complete comparative study of innovation agencies and also describes ways that governments can improve in the design and the management of such agencies. NESTA and RELAI are conducting a characterization study of its member agencies, seeking to define the future role of innovation agencies as a way to address the challenges facing the region.