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Edited by Jakob Edler, Paul Cunningham, Abdullah Gök and Philip Shapira
Edited by Jakob Edler, Paul Cunningham, Abdullah Gök and Philip Shapira
Jakob Edler, Philip Shapira, Paul Cunningham and Abdullah Gök
This concluding chapter synthesises the main findings and insights from the study of available evidence on the effectiveness of innovation policy intervention as presented in the Handbook. It begins by reminding the reader of the overall concept of innovation policy and impact followed throughout the Handbook. It then highlights key findings from the evidence on the effectiveness of the range of innovation policy instruments. It discusses overall lessons regarding the effectiveness and impacts of these innovation support measures. In addition, the concluding chapter offers observations and insights about the state of evidence on the effectiveness of policies in this domain, including considerations of evaluation methods, approaches and gaps. This provides a basis for deliberation on improved policy design and implementation, as well as concluding thoughts about evaluation and the production of evidence more broadly to support innovation policy making in the future.
The Rt Hon. Lord Willetts
John Rigby and Ronnie Ramlogan
Governments throughout the developed and less developed worlds are increasingly implementing policies that promote entrepreneurship. These fall into two categories: initiatives that promote entrepreneurial values and attitudes, and initiatives that attempt to teach and develop the decision-making skills that are needed by those who might be classed as entrepreneurs or those aiming to become entrepreneurs. Policies and programmes are being developed for implementation at different levels of the educational system and also beyond the end point of formal education. Extensive private provision of entrepreneurial values and skill sets also exists, and there are links between what is done by government and by private organisations. This chapter considers the rationales for entrepreneurial policies, the forms they take, and their effectiveness.
Elvira Uyarra and Ronnie Ramlogan
In recent years clusters have become an important component of the policy maker’s toolbox, particularly in respect of endogenous pressures for growth and innovation. Academic and policy interest in clusters has emerged from the observation that many industries tend to cluster and the ex post analyses of the economic and innovation performance of a number of high-profile clusters. However, despite the popularity of the cluster concept and the widespread use of cluster policy, the question of whether public support of clusters is effective, particularly for innovation, is an open one. This chapter seeks to address this evidence gap. It first examines the main arguments underpinning cluster policy. It subsequently focuses on a number of recent experiences in supporting clusters across the OECD, and further highlights the challenges associated with the evaluation of these initiatives and available evidence on their outcomes. It then reviews the impact of a number of programmes that are selected for closer scrutiny. The chapter draws on available cluster policy evaluation exercises and related academic literature to report on the impacts and outcomes, both soft and substantive, of cluster policy. Finally, some broad implications for policy are drawn, in particular in relation to the need for policies to improve their clarity and focus in their choice of objectives and rationales, the need to allow for evaluation early on in the process, and the use of flexible and adapted interventions that are realistic rather than a rigid cluster model, together with a more careful targeting and a better balance between a hands-off approach and direct steering of clusters.
Paul Cunningham, Abdullah Gök and Philippe Larédo
Direct support of R & D to individual companies, particularly through grants and loans, is a cornerstone of innovation policy. While initially targeted at large firms, the focus of direct measure is now very often on SMEs, and on specific sectors or technologies or – more recently – targeted at societal challenges and to mitigate the adverse financial climate within which firms currently operate. R & D grants and loans are generally simple instruments to implement. They show a range of quantifiable input effects (e.g. increased R & D expenditure) and output effects (e.g. increased turnover with innovation based on R & D and an increased level of invention measured with patents). Evaluations also find a change towards riskier and more ambitious innovation activities supported by direct measures, especially for small and younger firms. However, evaluations struggle to determine the overall effects, especially the less tangible outcomes such as effects on behaviour, skills and capacity, and long-term spillover effects. Also, the ‘average’ success of a programme tends to be based on a small number of successful cases. The chapter finds a crowding-out effect of firm spending on R & D above a subsidisation rate of 20 per cent, and also indicates that, while firms do better with repeated support, especially when linking direct and indirect support, this risks creating a subsidy culture for a few and lack of support for many. Finally, direct support measures perform better when accompanied by a complementary set of services and further support.
Philippe Larédo, Christian Köhler and Christian Rammer
R & D tax incentives are a policy tool to support business R & D. Their main rationale is to compensate for limited appropriability of private R & D due to knowledge spillovers. By granting a tax reduction depending on either the volume of or increase in a firm’s R & D expenditure, governments co-finance private R & D. The key direct objective of R & D tax incentives is to raise business R & D expenditure, and most evaluations undertaken have analysed the effectiveness of this instrument based on input additionality. In recent years, fiscal incentives have also been used to target other policy objectives, including the support of small and young firms, strengthening of industry–science linkages and promoting R & D in certain thematic areas. Furthermore there has been more and more attention by governments on broader impacts: the competitiveness of their industry and the international attractiveness of their country as a location for innovation. However, very few evaluations have addressed these issues, and little is yet known about the long-term welfare effects.
Innovation inducement prizes are among the oldest types of innovation policy measures. The popularity of innovation inducement prizes gradually decreased during the early twentieth century. However, innovation inducement prizes have regained some of their popularity since the 1990s, especially in the US and UK. Despite the growing popularity of innovation inducement prizes, the impact of this innovation policy measure is still not understood. This chapter brings together the existing evidence on the effects of innovation inducement prizes by drawing on a number of ex-ante and ex-post evaluations as well as limited academic literature. As well as developing the particular technology that the innovation inducement prizes produce, they create prestige for both the prize sponsor and entrants. Prizes might also increase public and sectoral awareness on specific technology issues. Design issues are the main concern of the prizes literature. A number of studies point out that sometimes prizes should be accompanied or followed by other demand-side initiatives to fulfil their objectives, mostly on the basis of ex-ante evaluations. Finally, prizes are seen as a valuable opportunity for experimentation in innovation policy. Prizes can overcome some of the inherent barriers to other instruments, but if prizes are poorly designed, managed and awarded they may be ineffective or even harmful.
Paul Cunningham and Ronnie Ramlogan
Networks (as distinct from geographically co-located clusters) have become an important component of technology and innovation policy in several countries and at the supranational level. However, it has been noted that the issue of appropriate policies for network formation and development is not clear cut and that there is a need to clarify both their rationale and the available instruments for facilitating networking. The chapter focuses on the evaluation of network policies and their role and impact on innovation, particularly since innovation is now understood to depend on a variety of feedback loops within the context of the structured relationships that constitute the so-called innovation ecology. We examine the historical development of industrial network policies and their rationales, such as their later adoption by governments to address the policy goal of increasing the exchange of knowledge between actors in the public and private sectors. The range of typical policy instruments is examined and the challenges for their evaluation assessed, before proceeding to a review of the evidence arising from a number of important studies. We conclude with a number of general lessons concerning specific network characteristics from examples where particular policy models have been successful.