Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship in Low-Tech Industries

Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship in Low-Tech Industries

Edited by Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen and Isabel Schwinge

This book contributes to the discussion about the relevance of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship for industrial innovation in the context of traditional low-technology industries.

Chapter 10: Policy measures for the promotion of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in low-tech industries

Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen and Isabel Schwinge

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of entrepreneurship, economics of innovation, industrial economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


The recent discussion in innovation research on 'knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship' (KIE) has paid little attention to firms in low-and medium-low-technology industries (LMT). This holds true especially for the debate on policy conclusions and policy recommendations for the promotion of KIE in LMT industries. The strong emphasis on start-ups in new economic industries focuses the policy-oriented discussion rather on policy measures and recommendations to foster KIE processes in high-tech and R & D-intensive industries (e.g. Malerba and Vonortas, 2010). Without doubt, this KIE debate adds important aspects to the traditional policies that promote entrepreneurship, such as the creation of conditions favorable to the entry of new firms, financial support and venture capital, and the support of later stages of firms' growth after successful transformation (ibid.: 299). However, it does not deal with the specific conditions, determining factors and mechanisms of KIE processes in LMT industries, and therefore the question of appropriate policy measures and recommendations remains unanswered. In other words, dealing with KIE in LMT industries also presents a chance to readjust policy strategies to the benefit of these neglected industries. Empirical findings show impressively clear indicators for successful KIE activities in LMT industries and for how KIE contributes to the innovativeness of these industries (see the various chapters in this volume). This chapter considers these findings and examines how policy can promote such activities.

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