The Innovation Union in Europe

The Innovation Union in Europe

A Socio-Economic Perspective on EU Integration

Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series

Edited by Elias G. Carayannis and George M. Korres

One of the most important economic events in recent decades has been the ongoing process of European integration. This book provides a basic yet rigorous understanding of the current issues and problems of economic integration and innovation in Europe, and argues that national or regional economic development depends mainly on technical change, social and human capital, and knowledge creation and diffusion. This is clearly evident in the role of the quadruple innovation helix of government, university, industry and civil society.

Chapter 2: Patterns of innovation and the determinants of the diffusion process in selected EU member states

George M. Korres

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, innovation policy, organisational innovation


Technological change is the result of both research and imitation activities. As soon as the information about the advantages provided by the innovation becomes available to the potential adopter, the adoption will take place. Adoption is the result of a complex process of decision making. Absorption is just the process of diffusion perceived from the perspective of the recipient of the technique. The adoption of a new technology is in fact part of a broader process of technological change. Diffusion, defined as a sequence of adoption lags, is fully explained by the characteristics of the spreading of the information. Much attention has been paid to the identification of the determinants of the diffusion of the demand side and the determinants of the supply side. Diffusion can be analysed as the process of delayed adoptions and imitations of a given innovation, with fixed economic characteristics, including the performances and the price, occurring because of dynamics on the demand side. The main engine is a well-known epidemic contagion in a population of heterogeneous agents, characterized by information asymmetries, and the eventual decay of information costs for potential adopters, driven by the dissemination of information carried out by all those who have already adopted (Griliches, 1957).

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