National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts - created from the first ever publicly supported national endowment in the UK

Chair - David Puttnam

CEO - Jeremy Newton

Backing individual innovators:

Emily Cummins - Inventor of the solar powered fridge

Kevin Fong - Doctor & science communicator on BBC

Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh - Inventor of Sugru


A focus on education:

FutureLab : a global leader in developing digital curriculum materials for schools


Improving innovation systems in the UK

Chair - Chris Powell

CEO - Jonathan Kestenbaum


Policy and research:

Nesta becomes a major source of original research and influential policy work in the field of innovation

New measures of national innovation performance


Nesta Investments launches

Nesta starts to bring together the UK’s innovation community:

Tim Berners Lee, Martha Lane Fox, Stephen Fry, Muhammad Yunus; all take part in Nesta events


The Innovation Lab is formed

It leads experimental practical projects

The Big Green Challenge programme tackles climate change

It is one of the first projects worldwide to use a prize competition to tackle a social issue


CEO - Geoff Mulgan

Chair - John Chisholm

Creative Councils programme

Set up to help local governments develop radical solutions to their biggest challenges

Innovation in Giving programme

A £10m fund from the Cabinet Office. Supported Goodgym (now in 40 cities) & Crowdfunder

Highlighting the importance of evidence & data

A new focus on evidence & data leads to the creation of The Alliance for Useful Evidence and the Innovation Growth Lab which helps governments make their economies more innovative and entrepreneurial


Nesta becomes an independent charity

Influencing education policy

Nesta spreads Young Digital Making across the nation

The Next Gen Report uncovered deficiencies in the education system that threatened the future of the UK’s high-tech creative and digital industries

Pioneering new funding models

Nesta Impact Investments launches. It goes on to back Oomph, which help hundreds of thousands of older people and vulnerable adults stay healthy

Social action is a new focus

Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund: a £14m fund supporting volunteering & social action alongside public services

Making smarter use of technology

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts: £7m to fund digital experimentation in arts organisations for accessibility


Nesta pioneers Challenge Driven Innovation

Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre launches The Longitude Prize - a £10m prize to reduce the lethal rise of drug-resistant infections

Innovation Population:

The first major survey of public attitudes to innovation & innovation policy

FutureFest Launches 2013:

Nesta’s flagship event inspires innovators to shape a better future. Speakers include: Edward Snowden, Vivienne Westwood, Brian Eno

Innovation Skills Team Launches

Our DIY toolkit has been used by over a million people and translated into dozens of languages

New Radicals launches

Showcasing 50 radical thinkers changing the UK for the better

Growing the Alternative Finance Sector

The Alt Finance report offers better opportunities for entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground