Chapter 2: The Role of Public Policies in Innovation Processes
Fabrizio Cobis INTRODUCTION The role that governmental policies should play as regards the new and sometimes serious needs of the contemporary economy, which is increasingly ‘knowledge-driven’, has been deeply questioned in the last few years. The completely global dimensions of today’s economic dynamics force us to consider innovation as the real determining factor on which the competitiveness of a national economic system should be founded. Such competitive ability appears to be more and more structurally assured by a type of innovation which has its main engine in research, its characterizing element. The ability to produce knowledge, together with the ability to quickly transform that knowledge in economic value, and therefore to rapidly produce high level innovation, represents the key to economic growth and to the competitive success of a country. Moreover, the strong link between the role of knowledge in innovation and the global characteristics in economic dynamics must be underlined: technological knowledge and economic globalization appear to be mutually enabling factors. The more the economy becomes global, the more innovation plays a fundamental role; an overwhelming technological development yields to wider economic borders, in an endless swirling effect. THE ‘TRIPLE HELIX’ MODEL Within such a context innovative processes, conceptual schemes defining related dynamics, the action and nature of the involved partners, and their relationships are all aspects that have been going through a deep change. In 1945 Vannevar Bush, scientific advisor of American President Roosevelt, writing his report entitled ‘Science, the endless frontier’ theorized 26 The role of public...
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