The Innovation Union in Europe
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The Innovation Union in Europe

A Socio-Economic Perspective on EU Integration

Edited by Elias G. Carayannis and George M. Korres

One of the most important economic events in recent decades has been the ongoing process of European integration. This book provides a basic yet rigorous understanding of the current issues and problems of economic integration and innovation in Europe, and argues that national or regional economic development depends mainly on technical change, social and human capital, and knowledge creation and diffusion. This is clearly evident in the role of the quadruple innovation helix of government, university, industry and civil society.
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Chapter 1: The innovation ecosystem

A Socio-Economic Perspective on EU Integration

Elias G. Carayannis


Developed and developing economies alike face increased resource scarcity and competitive rivalry. Science and technology increasingly appear as a main source of competitive and sustainable advantage for nations and regions alike. However, the key determinant of their efficacy is the quality and quantity of entrepreneurship-enabled innovation that unlocks and captures the pecuniary benefits of the science enterprise in the form of private, public or hybrid goods. In this context, linking university basic and applied research with the market, via technology transfer and commercialization mechanisms including government–university– industry partnerships and risk capital investments, constitutes the essential trigger mechanism and driving device for sustainable competitive advantage and prosperity. In short, university researchers, properly informed, empowered and supported, are bound to emerge as the architects of a prosperity that rests on a solid foundation of scientific and technological knowledge, experience and expertise, and not in fleeting and conjectural ‘financial engineering’ schemes. Building on these constituent elements of technology transfer and commercialization, ‘open innovation diplomacy’ encompasses the concept and practice of bridging distance and other divides (cultural, socio-economic, technological etc.) with focused and properly targeted initiatives to connect ideas and solutions with markets and investors ready to appreciate them and nurture them to their full potential. Chapter 6 develops this in more detail.

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