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Roger Svensson

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Roger Svensson

New knowledge and technology created through R & D is the most important production factor for economic growth. The European Union (EU) has fallen behind some competitors both with respect to the input side (R & D investments and R & D personnel) and the output side (patent applications) of innovation. If the EU cannot match the pace of innovation in competing regions, then growth will not be the only thing at risk; firms in the EU could lose competitiveness and both employment and productivity could fall. Even if the European Commission has the ambition to coordinate the efforts of Member States in innovation and growth through EU Horizon 2020, the substantial fragmentation in policy efforts among the countries is a major problem when trying to avoid threats to economic growth. If the EU aims to maintain its competitiveness and growth, then extraordinary measures are required regarding innovation and technology development. This chapter identifies four important areas in which measures are necessary: public financing of R & D in the business sector, public financing of business innovation, intellectual property rights and university R & D.