Professor Mariana Mazzucato is an economist, holding the RM Phillips Chair in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex. She has also held positions in the US and Italy and advises policy makers around the world on innovation-led, ‘smart’ growth.

Mariana's work looks at the relationship between financial markets, innovation and economic growth: how different types of finance produce different kinds of innovation, at both organisational and international level. Her research finds that, across the globe, it is often the public sector that’s most willing to fund high risk capital-intensive innovations, from the internet to clean technology. Whether DARPA and ARPA-E in the USA, or the Chinese Development Bank or BNDES in Brazil, public sector funding has done much more than 'fix' market failures; it has provided the courageous mission-oriented investment that allows new technologies and sectors to emerge.

Mariana’s book, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private vs. public sector myths, argues against the conventional wisdom that private entrepreneurship is the solution to problems concerning growth. It focuses on the need to develop new frameworks to understand the role of the state within economic growth, and how to ensure that rewards from investment are shared, along with the risks.

Mariana is the winner of the New Statesman SPERI Prize in Political Economy, and is one of the New Republic’s Three Most Important Thinkers on Innovation. She appears regularly on Newsnight and her TED Global talk has been watched by over half a million people.