Enhancing the Effectiveness of Innovation
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Enhancing the Effectiveness of Innovation

New Roles for Key Players

Edited by Willem Molle and Julia Djarova

The limits of established innovation processes have become clear as nations increasingly champion innovation as a tool of the ever-important ‘knowledge economy’. This timely book analyses the effectiveness of innovation efforts, presenting challenges to the traditional approaches whilst developing more contemporary theories.
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Chapter 7: European Innovation Policy: Increased Effectiveness through Coordination with Cohesion Policy

Willem Molle


Willem Molle INTRODUCTION The EU is confronted with a series of important problems. The two that are of most interest in the present chapter are lack of competitiveness on international markets and the considerable internal imbalances. For quite some time the EU has put in place policies to address these problems. But these policies have been evolving rather independently. Our objective in this chapter is to see to what extent further dovetailing of a key part of EU competitiveness policy, i.e. innovation, and the EU policy to reduce imbalances, i.e. cohesion policy, can improve their effectiveness.1 In order to tackle this question we have structured the chapter as follows. In the next section we briefly describe the overall policy framework of the innovation policy, i.e. the Lisbon Strategy. We mention its objectives, instruments and governance, and also its inadequacies. The main inadequacy is the lack of funds. The solution that has been found to this problem is to use the funds originally designed to address imbalances (Structural and Cohesion Funds) with the aim to improve innovation and competitiveness. Next we describe in some detail the problem of the EU regarding the spatial distribution of its innovation activity. We indicate that innovation within the EU is largely concentrated in a limited number of countries in the North West and within each member state in the more central regions. The two sections that follow go into the intricacies of the EU policies set up to deal with the two main problem areas...

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