This chapter reviews the role of standards in creating new knowledge and applying it to products and services. Participation in standards development can add significantly to the knowledge base of innovating firms, but standards can also generate negative effects. How they are developed has a significant effect on their outcomes in terms of stimulating or retarding innovation. Questions of the legitimacy of standards and the role of institutions and rules in reflecting a legitimate consensus of affected stakeholders are also critical is this regard. The chapter explores such fundamentals in terms of their economic implications for several of the key activities and practices associated with innovation, for example research and development, public procurement, intellectual property rights, technology transfer and the creation of market demand.
In the past, standardisation and standards have often been perceived as a contradiction to innovation. This chapter provides conceptual arguments and empirical evidence that standardisation as such and standards can be used to promote innovation. After a brief section on the general economic functions of standards, the relationship between research and standardisation is examined by first showing both standardisation as a technology transfer channel and standards as enablers and facilitators for research. The chapter then focuses on the difficult but promising issue of transferring intellectual property rights (IPR) into standards, especially via standard essential patents, and shows how this can be beneficial both for IPR holders and for standards implementers. A newly emerging field concerns the role of standards and standardisation in procurement processes, which are more and more forced to address and promote innovation. In the final section, the results are summarised and recommendations for policy makers are derived.
Regulatory framework conditions have been identified as important factors influencing the innovation activities of companies, industries and whole economies. Using an endogenous growth approach this chapter delivers a conceptual analysis of the impacts of economic, social and institutional regulations on innovation. Economic regulations tend to keep a high level of competitive pressure, which forces companies to realise innovations. Social regulations mainly addressing negative external effects have strong impacts on the direction of innovation activities towards the protection of the environment, the health and safety of citizens and the like. The chapter also presents some evidence on the very heterogeneous institutional regulations, including mixed evidence on the innovation effects of intellectual property rights. Overall, the evidence on the impact of different types of regulation on innovation is patchy regarding the type of regulation, the sectors, the companies and the time horizon of the impacts. In general, the short-term impacts of regulations are often negative for innovation, in contrast to their often positive long-term implications. The chapter highlights research gaps such as the lack of appropriate indicators of the regulatory framework, and a better understanding of the strategies of companies to comply with and to influence regulation. It finishes with a set of policy recommendations, including a stronger mutual recognition of the interplay of existing and new regulations with innovation and innovation policy instruments, as well as improving the implementation of regulations to foster innovation.
Richard Hawkins and Knut Blind
This introduction explores the conceptual background and definitions that pertain to understanding standards and standardization in the context of innovation. A general overview is provided of the themes explored in the chapters that follow.