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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: September 2009

12 - Sectoral systems: implications for European innovation policy

Summary

Introduction

It is generally accepted that governments have an important role to play in fostering the conditions supporting innovation and competitiveness. The economic and political discourse on these issues reflects existing political debates about the capacities of firms and the market mechanisms to deliver desired outcomes.

For about forty years, academic research, in the tradition of innovation studies and the economics of technological change, has attempted to sort out what has been learned from experience throughout the world. The record of experience that they have studied includes the ambit of current political discourse as well as the more extreme examples of state socialism and autocratic regimes.

From a policy viewpoint, the results of these investigations are somewhat disappointing. No simple and obvious formula for reliably achieving success in promoting or fostering innovation has emerged. Instances can be cited of both failure and success for the prescriptions suggested by each of the poles of the current political discourse. The results of academic discourse on innovation policy have been a series of frameworks for analysis and evaluation rather than success in formulating a universally applicable policy. The value of these frameworks is that they provide a tool kit for a structured analysis of policy objectives and instruments in relation to industrial conditions and behaviors.

The results of this book promise to lead to new insights into the conduct of innovation policy by national governments and by the European Commission.

Recommend this book

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Sectoral Systems of Innovation
  • Online ISBN: 9780511493270
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511493270
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