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Regional Innovation Policy for Small-Medium Enterprises

Edited by Bjørn T. Asheim, Arne Isaksen, Claire Nauwelaers and Franz Tödtling

This book provides an extensive evaluation of the numerous policy instruments used by regional governments in Europe to promote innovation activity in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The instruments are compared and benchmarked in order to identify ‘good practice’, in an effort to bridge the gap between the theory of regional innovation and real-world policy implementation.
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Chapter 5: Innovation Policies for SMEs: An Overview of Policy Instruments

Gioacchino Garofoli and Bernard Musyck


3 Gioacchino Garofoli and Bernard Musyck 5.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter offers an overview of policy instruments identified within the SMEPOL study. A matrix (Table 5.1) is proposed, which takes into consideration the nature of the tools (finance, information, advice, and human resources) and the target groups to which these tools are aimed (individual firms or local and regional productive systems). According to the findings of Chapter 4, the proposed typology reflects the main weaknesses of SMEs regarding innovation, as revealed in the SMEPOL studies of SMEs’ innovation performance. These are (i) financial barriers, (ii) lack of accessibility to strategic information, (iii) lack of interaction with knowledge providers, and (iv) lack of adequate human resources. The matrix takes into consideration the nature of the tools and the particular target groups to which the tools are aimed. We differentiate between two different types of target groups in the support schemes of technological transfer: firms (through schemes directly oriented to them) and the local and regional system (through the use of indirect schemes fostering external economies and the production of public goods). The distribution of different innovation schemes in the matrix in Table 5.1 generates the following typology: A. A1. A2. B. B1. B2. B3. Firms-oriented support schemes: support schemes (through grants and loans) for innovation projects, the introduction of new products and R&D projects; introduction of research/technical personnel in SMEs. System-oriented support schemes: policies based on technology centres and schemes fostering technological diffusion to...

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