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Sussex University
media release, 9 September 2014
Professor Mariana Mazzucato

Sussex economist shortlisted for inaugural New Statesman prize

University of Sussex economist Professor Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips Professor in SPRU, is one of six “world-class thinkers” who have been shortlisted for the first-ever New Statesman SPERI Prize in political economy.

Announcing the shortlist yesterday (Monday 8 September), the judges called Professor Mazzucato a leading voice in the economics of innovation and an accomplished broadcaster and writer.

The shortlisting judges – who include the magazine’s deputy editor Helen Lewis – also praised “the originality of Professor Mazzucato’s thinking, her willingness to challenge the conventional wisdom and her capacity to take her arguments forward with gusto”.

Professor Mazzucato’s influential 2013 book, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private versus public sector myths, debunked the myth of an innovative private sector versus a static, bureaucratic State. The book used the history of the internet, biotech, nanotechnology and the emerging clean technology sector to show how radical innovations only happened because of state investment. Her popular TED talk on the subject has been viewed online more than 600,000 times. It used the history of the iPhone to illustrate this point in a concise and dynamic way.

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills recently paid tribute to Professor Mazzucato’s work at the Mission-Oriented Finance for Innovation conference that she organised, saying that the Government wanted to “learn from her thinking”.

The award is a collaboration between the New Statesman magazine and the Sheffield Political Economy research institute (SPERI).

It will be awarded biennially, starting in 2014, to the scholar who has succeeded most effectively over the preceding two or three years in disseminating original and critical ideas in political economy to a wider public audience. The first winner will be announced in October and will deliver the New Statesman SPERI Prize Lecture at the Royal Institution in London in November. He or she will also be invited to publish an essay in the New Statesman.

Read more about the New Statesman SPERI Prize shortlist.

The German translation of The Entrepreneurial State – called Das Kapital des Staates – has  been shortlisted for the Deutscher Wirtschaftsbuchpreis, the main German award for books related to business, economics and markets. The award is sponsored by Handelsblatt, a leading German business newspaper, and investment banking firm Goldman Sachs. The winner will be announced on 9 October at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Professor Mazzucato’s research has influenced policy-makers across the political spectrum in the UK and internationally. Her research and other activities, including videos of talks, can be found on her website.