This paper is about what governments have done and could do to promote the production, diffusion and use of scientific and technical knowledge in order to realize national objectives. We begin the chapter with „story-telling based on sketchy historical facts. The aim of the two stories is to illustrate that innovation policy covers a wide set of issues that have been on the agenda far back in history while still remaining important today. We move on to sketch the history of innovation policy splitting it up in the three ideal types: science, technology and innovation policy. We use OECD documents and other sources to do so. Finally we point to future challenges, and highlight research opportunities.