How to Fill the Gap Between Knowledge and Innovation
Edited by Jean Bonnet, Domingo García Pérez De Lima and Howard Van Auken
Jean Bonnet, Domingo García Pérez De Lema and Howard Van Auken In recent years entrepreneurship has re-emerged as an important component underlying economic growth in Europe and North America. The restructuring of the US economy from an industrial-based economy to an entrepreneurial-based economy is well under way. Entrepreneurial firms (young and innovative firms) are an integral part of the transition process and have been the engine of economic growth for over a decade. The vast majority of all businesses in the USA are small, and a record number of new firms are started each year. Small firms make a significant contribution to private sector output, employment, net new jobs creation and innovations. Many of the new firms are the creators and leaders of new industries. Most job-creating firms are fast-growing and generating a disproportionate amount of innovations, patents and new technologies. Evidence indicates that the trend toward an entrepreneurial society is accelerating (Wong et al., 2005). Small businesses are important to economy vibrancy, employment growth and wealth creation for almost all world economies (Craig et al, 2003). Europe is in this respect certainly more entrepreneurial than in the 1960s and 1970s. However European economies remain considerably less entrepreneurial than other world economies. In fact, the world economy has generally become more entrepreneurial than European economies (Audrestch, 2006; surveys of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, GEM). According to Erkki Liikanen (2003) (Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Society Information), ‘Europe suffers from an entrepreneurship deficit in comparison...