Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy
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Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy

Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik

This unique Handbook provides a solid foundation for essential study in the nascent field of entrepreneurship policy research. This foundation is initially developed via the exploration of two significant propositions underpinning the nature of entrepreneurship policy research. The first is that entrepreneurship has emerged as a bona fide focus of public policy, particularly with respect to economic growth and employment creation. The second is that neither scholars nor policy makers are presently equipped to understand the public policy role for entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 9: Government Programs to Encourage Innovation by Start-ups and SMEs: The Role of US Innovation Awards

Charles W. Wessner


Charles W. Wessner1 Policy makers in the United States recognize that innovation remains the key to international competitiveness in the twenty-first century. Moreover, policy makers increasingly recognize that equity-financed small firms are an effective means of capitalizing on new ideas and bringing them to the market. Small firms, however, face a variety of obstacles as they seek to bring new products and processes to the market.2 In this context, public policies that reduce the structural and financial hurdles facing such innovative small firms can play a useful role in enhancing a nation’s innovative capacity. In the United States, innovation awards, such as the Small Business Innovation Research program and the Advanced Technology Program, have proven effective in helping small innovative firms overcome these hurdles while also enhancing networking among US universities, large firms, and small innovative companies. Success in innovation has helped the United States become the world’s leading economy. Remaining innovative requires, as Dr Mary Good notes, ‘a strategy that provides resources to talented people in an atmosphere that promotes creativity – focused on outcomes ranging from new products to customer satisfaction to new scientific insights to improved social programs – to create wealth and/or improve the human condition’.3 In this information age, continuing economic leadership requires new strategies that adapt to the new realities of globalized research, development and manufacturing. US assets and challenges in innovation Competitive advantages enjoyed by the United States include a large and integrated domestic market, and an economic and institutional...

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