New Roles for Key Players
Edited by Willem Molle and Julia Djarova
Willem Molle and Julia Djarova OBJECTIVES, STRUCTURE1 Objective, Structure and Specificity of the Book The EU has embraced the Lisbon Strategy and translated the strategic objectives into programmes with concrete action by the European Commission,2 by the member countries and by their constituent regions. These actions involve considerable efforts to increase the level of R&D, knowledge and innovation, and to improve the effectiveness of investments in these fields. This should lead to greater productivity, competitiveness and hence welfare. In the past, much work has been done to come to a better understanding of the anatomy of the problem (‘Where does this lack of innovativeness come from?’) and the effectiveness of the therapy (‘Which instruments work under what conditions?’). Very helpful in this respect has been the introduction of the concept of the innovation system. Notwithstanding this progress, our understanding of the innovation system and the role of its various actors is still far from perfect. The objective of the present book is to shed more light on a number of points that can improve the effectiveness of innovation efforts in the EU. We thereby focus on the interplay of the various actors involved. We do this with the help of a number of case studies of the main segments of the innovation system: public sector (governments), industry (firms) and R&D providers (research institutions and universities). Innovation systems play a central role in enabling processes of innovation. Introduced by Freeman (1987), the national innovation system3 (NIS)...