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 6: The impact of technology and innovation advisory services

Philip Shapira and Jan Youtie

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


This chapter considers the available evidence on the impact of technology and innovation advisory services. Technology and innovation advisory services are services provided directly by specialists particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises to support and stimulate improvements in business operations including productivity, efficiency, production, quality, waste reduction, information technology and logistics. The review focuses on developed economies where well-established technology and innovation advisory services are found. We provide an overview of technology and innovation advisory services, including the major types of approaches and services adopted and the rationale for public support. This is followed by a discussion of leading examples of technology advisory and innovation services in the UK and in other developed economies. The chapter then collates and examines the available literature, including formal evaluation studies, selected academic papers and accessible grey literature, to assess the evidence on impact. The reviewed studies generally find that technology and innovation advisory services provide positive benefits for participating firms. The types of benefits achieved include reductions in costs, improved quality, reduced waste and improved environmental performance, higher productivity, and new product development and innovation. Levels of investment involved (by both the public sector and private participating firms) are typically not high. Similarly, the net benefits achieved are often relatively modest for individual projects, although such incremental improvements add up and can make the difference to SME survival or decline. Lessons and insights for policymakers are highlighted.

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