The International Institute for Economic Research was founded in 1971 by the late Antony Fisher, who also founded the Institute of Economic Affairs. Later it was known for many years as the Atlas Foundation UK Ltd before being renamed the International Policy Network (IPN) in 2001.
The IPN is part of Fisher's Atlas Economic Research Foundation, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. Atlas was established with the aim of bringing 'freedom to the world' by helping 'develop and strengthen a network of market-oriented think tanks that spans the globe.'
The IPN has addresses in London and Washington D.C. The Washington address is the same as that of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). Roger Bate who is an IPN Fellow, and a long-time associate of the IPN's Director Julian Morris, is an Adjunct Fellow of the CEI. Kendra Okonski who is the IPN's 'Project Director' in London was previously a CEI researcher.
Okonski and Morris appear to be the driving force behind another organisation, the Sustainable Development Network (SDN), while Morris and Bate connect to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF).
IPN's mission is to 'share ideas that free people'. It believes in de-regulation but that 'where regulations are necessary... they should be based on sound science and good economics.'
IPN works with a network of individuals and organizations around the world who share its beliefs. The IEA and the ESEF are both on the list of the IPN's 'partner organisations'. The CEI is not currently on the list, despite sharing its Washington address with the IPN.
In 2003 IPN and spiked-online co-sponsored a debate held at PR firm, Hill and Knowlton, on 'GM food: should labelling be mandatory?'. The seminar was introduced by Greg Conko of the CEI. Tony Gilland of the Institute of Ideas also spoke.
Former Dupont PR man Martin Livermore is said to be an IPN Fellow.