Global Experience in Policy and Program Development
Edited by Sarfraz A. Mian
Chapter 10: Building Entrepreneurial Platforms and Innovative Hotspots: Science and Technology Based Regional Development in the Netherlands
Willem Hulsink, Jolanda Hessels and Kashifa Suddle INTRODUCTION Allegedly, the European Union (EU) suffers from a mixed blessing in its science, technology and innovation policy: its countries play a leading international role in terms of top-level scientific output but they lag behind in the ability to convert the results of the excellence in research into wealth-generating innovations and competitive advantage. In EU documents this gap between leading research upstream and weak commercialization downstream became widely known as the European paradox (e.g. Aho Group, 2006; Innometrics, 2009), but as Dosi et al. (2006) have made clear, the European emperor has no clothes: with a few outliers of excellent research in physical sciences and engineering and a few single success stories (e.g. Cambridge), Europe’s system of science and technology (S&T) research lags behind the USA in most areas, its industrial base is smaller and more dispersed and relatively weak with a lower presence in sectors based on new technologies and a lower propensity to innovate than its transatlantic counterparts. In order to make Europe more innovative, the following policy measures were implemented (Aho Group, 2006): (i) to foster a culture that celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship; (ii) to increase resources for science and R&D and promote further EUlevel coordination and collaboration; (iii) to stimulate greater mobility of human resources, knowledge for innovation and finance for investments. As a consequence of the impact of these policies on overall performance, and with Europe being less vulnerable to the global economic crisis than the...
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