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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 6: Results and Impacts of Policy Instruments

Javier Alfonso Gil, Antonia Sáez-Cala, Antonio Vázquez-Barquero and Ana Isabel Viñas Apaolaza


Javier Alfonso Gil, Antonia Sáez-Cala, Antonio Vázquez-Barquero and Ana Isabel Viñas-Apaolaza 6.1 INTRODUCTION The objective of this chapter is to determine the effects and impacts of the various SMEPOL government-implemented policies with the aim of improving innovation in SMEs. Evaluating policies and describing results and impacts is common to any action in economic policy, i.e., we are dealing with means and ends and how the former influence the latter. If measurement shows that the objectives are attained, it can be asserted that the tools used were coherent and positive. One of the greatest difficulties is that firms, far from being static, undergo constant change. If the tool used tends to remain relatively static due to institutional design, the possibilities of achieving its objectives decrease because of a growing gap between the relatively static institution and the evolutionary path of the firm. Therefore, the policies and instruments created and designed must be institutionally flexible in order to adapt to the firm in its evolution over time, as well as adjusting to different types of firms, in terms of the size of the business and the sector that it is in. The next chapter discusses this in more detail. Firms are aware that to exist in the market requires continuous improvement of processes and products and that the best way to achieve this is through their own effort and resources. The SMEPOL reports confirm that the firms analysed, active agents in competitive frameworks,...

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