Cohesion and Excellence from a Schumpeterian Perspective
Edited by Slavo Radosevic and Anna Kaderabkova
Chapter 8: Innovation Policy Options for ‘Catching Up’ by the EU CEE Member States
Philippe Aghion, Andreas Reinstaller, Fabian Unterlass, Jakob Edler, Anna Kaderabkova and Rajneesh Narula
8. Innovation policy options for ‘catching up’ by the EU CEE member states Philippe Aghion, Andreas Reinstaller, Fabian Unterlass, Jakob Edler, Anna Kaderabkova, Rajneesh Narula, Slavo Radosevic and Alasdair Reid 8.1 INTRODUCTION The INCOM Workshop that forms the basis for this volume was organized as a personal initiative of the Czech Prime Minister, Mr Mirek Topolánek, within the Czech EU presidency. The objective of the workshop was to re-examine EU innovation policies, especially those of the new member states (NMS) from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The focus on these countries stems from an understanding of the limitations of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to innovation policy and a realization that some measures may not be effective for countries at a greater distance from the world technology frontier. Some national innovation systems (NIS) are capable of generating disruptive innovations, while others focus mainly on incremental innovation. Countries operating at the technology frontier have the capacity to generate innovations that are new to the world, while those behind the frontier are capable mainly of only imitative innovation. Innovative imitation should not be underestimated, however, since it can be the basis for major gains in wealth and technological competency. In view of the differences in innovation capacities among the EU27 it is unrealistic to expect that similar policies and indicators can be used to gauge and benchmark the innovation performance of such diverse membership. The diversity of the EU27 brings benefits, but exploiting them calls for new policy approaches. Based...
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