Handbook of Innovation Policy Impact

Handbook of Innovation Policy Impact

Eu-SPRI Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy series

Edited by Jakob Edler, Paul Cunningham, Abdullah Gök and Philip Shapira

Innovation underpins competitiveness, is crucial to addressing societal challenges, and its support has become a major public policy goal. But what really works in innovation policy, and why? This Handbook, compiled by leading experts in the field, is the first comprehensive guide to understanding the logic and effects of innovation polices. The Handbook develops a conceptualisation and typology of innovation policies, presents meta-evaluations for 16 key innovation policy instruments and analyses evidence on policy-mix. For each policy instrument, underlying rationales and examples are presented, along with a critical analysis of the available impact evidence. Providing access to primary sources of impact analysis, the book offers an insightful assessment of innovation policy practice and its evaluation.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Making sense of innovation policy

Jakob Edler, Abdullah Gök, Paul Cunningham and Philip Shapira

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


This chapter introduces the reader to the wealth of evidence in this Handbook, and provides guidance for the interpretation of its findings. It first presents the basic definitions and delineations of innovation policy and discusses innovation policy rationales and their limitations. The chapter then reflects on the different understandings of policy instruments and on the nature of policy impact, highlighting the benefits, value and limits of impact analysis. Against this background, a typology of innovation policy instruments is presented which has been developed for this Handbook to systematise the evidence and which allows distinct entry points for readers interested in different kinds of instruments. After providing an explanation of the methodology applied throughout the Handbook, the chapter closes with reflections on how to interpret the findings of the book.