National Innovation Strategies in the Global Economy
Edited by Göran Marklund, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Charles W. Wessner
Chapter 7: The Role of Innovation Award Programmes in the US and Sweden
7. The role of innovation award programmes in the US and Sweden Charles W. Wessner 7.1 INTRODUCTION Policy makers in both the US and Sweden recognize that innovation remains the key to international competitiveness in the twenty-ﬁrst century. Moreover, policy makers in both countries 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 market. 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 US innovation awards, such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme and the Advanced Technology Program (ATP)1 have proven eﬀective in helping small innovative ﬁrms overcome these hurdles while also enhancing networking among US universities, large ﬁrms and small innovative companies. Innovation award programmes, such as SBIR and ATP, could also help Sweden realize higher returns to its substantial investments in research and development (R&D). 7.2 THE NEW INNOVATION IMPERATIVE This imperative to innovate more rapidly comes as new entrants from China and India expand their presence in the global economy. While this expansion provides opportunities for businesses around the world to lower costs, develop new ideas and business processes, and develop new markets, it also poses new challenges to countries, such as Sweden and the US, to maintain...
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