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 17: The innovation policy mix

Paul Cunningham, Jakob Edler, Kieron Flanagan and Philippe Larédo

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


As innovation policy instruments are never applied in isolation, this chapter reviews the evidence on policy mixes and the interplay of instruments in innovation policy. The chapter starts with a multi-dimensional conceptualisation of mixes and interplay, in particular distinguishing between designed versus emergent mixes. Overall, the evidence and evaluation practice as to policy mix and interplay are scarce, reflecting not only the challenges of analysing the interplay of instruments, but also the general neglect in policy making to take interplay into consideration. The chapter first presents and analyses evidence from the few evaluations which have explicitly examined how instruments interact, focusing on interplay between direct and indirect measures as well as supply and demand measures. In general, the additive effect of multiple measures targeting the same actor groups is limited. Secondly, the chapter looks at evidence from reviews of policy mixes at the country or system level. Those country reviews have mainly been conducted under the auspices of the OECD or the EU. They highlight the trends of applying policy mixes and comment on their appropriateness, identify common policy gaps and coordination issues, but rarely deliver hard evidence of system-wide interplay. Thirdly, the review looks at instances where policies or instruments have been deliberately used together, as designed mixes across policy institutions or as the portfolios of specific agencies. The chapter finally draws lessons as to policy mix practice using the conceptual framework developed.

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