Catching-Up along the Global Value Chain (CatChain): models, determinants and policy implications in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Catching-Up along the global value chain: business models, determinants and policy implications in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (GVC2UP4IR) is a project built on a multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial exchange program focused on unravelling the process of Catching-Up from different sectorial perspectives at a country level. It analyses the role of business models (BMs) in entering, learning and upgrading the Global Value Chain (GVC), aiming at recognising the determinants and challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in tackling the process of upgrading in a globalising economy. The outcome of the project will be the definition of policy tools and frameworks to support effective policy-making actions in the implementation of Research and Innovation Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS3), with respect to the new agenda of Europe 2020, mainly for low-income EU countries.

The main aims of the project are: identify: if and how a country should focus on developing domestic trade networks and upgrading before entering into GVCs; whether it should improve its infrastructures in regional value chains implementing the RIS3 strategy for its economic transformation; study the emerging BMs underpinning the successful entry, learning, and upgrading in GVCs, after the investigation and valuation of case studies in different sectors and countries; isolate the conditions that define the preferable entry strategy; recognise the policy framework that facilitates entries and supports SMEs in developing a profitable business strategy.
To give robust scientific answers to the question of whether entering GVCs by sponsoring one large national firm or a set of small and dynamic enterprises, GVC2UP4IR intends to bridge the Catching-Up approach with the GVCs literature, paying attention to the role that entry, learning and upgrading strategies – integrated with BMs, play in fostering a process of country-level catching-up in distinct sectors.

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Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU’s growth and competitiveness (GLOBALINTO)

The project entitled “Capturing the value of intangible assets in micro data to promote the EU’s growth and competitiveness”, with the acronym GLOBALINTO (“Into” means enthusiasm in Finnish), aims to develop and refine measures of IAs at the micro level and to use these measures to analyse the causes of the productivity slowdown and how productivity growth can be improved. In the context of the project, the research group will work in co-operation with the National Statistical institutes (NSIs) towards the goal of integrating improved statistics into sustained, official statistical production. GLOBALINTO is a continuation to FP7 Innodrive project ( that developed the Innodrive-methodology in measuring intangible assets at the firm level. In 2013, Horizon2020 NET4SOCIETY chose Innodrive among the seven SSH projects in FP6 and FP7 that had a considerable impact – not only on research but also on policy, society or economy. Included in our overall objective are a number of specific objectives that will be pursued in the GLOBALINTO in order to achieve this overreaching objective.

The main aims of the project are:
First, GLOBALINTO aims to  review and critically assess existing work on the relation between intangibles and productivity in order to gain in-debth understanding of demand side and supply side factors that contribute to productivity growth. In particular, we aim to identify factors behind the productivity slowdown mentioned above This includes relevant theoretical and empirical work on the micro and macro-underpinnings of growth, and current measurement of intangibles and productivity growth factors. Particular focus will be placed on the role of globalization in the form of market development, global value chains and the rate and diffusion of technological change, and on demand and supply side factors related to demographic changes.
Second, in order to facilitate evidence-based policy and analysis of the micro and macro-underpinnings of growth, a key objective of GLOBALINTO is to prepare, develop and validate new micro and industry level data and statistics for the measurement of intangible assets and other key variables for use in analyses of the relation between innovation, intangibles and productivity. This work will utilize a wide range of data sources (including data on firm activities, R&D and innovation, ICT, employee occupations and education, inputoutputs, and primary data collection from a pilot intangibles survey) to measure intangibles in both the private and public sector. Taking into account the difficulties in measuring intangibles at the micro level based on existing data, GLOBALINTO will also develop and conduct a pilot survey of intangible investments, with the goal of improving parameters used in measurement of intangibles. Furthermore, our goal is to achieve sustainable collection and measurement for our work, and to this end we will work directly with national statistical offices to facilitate the uptake and integration of GLOBALINTO indicators and methodology.
Third, applying advanced econometric methods, GLOBALINTO will utilize this data in order to analyse the various potential explanations of the productivity puzzle, at both micro and macro levels. These include:

  • Value chains and the role of technology push factors (early stage in value creation) and demand pull
    factors (latter stage).
  • Role of demographic change and gender balance through analysis of interfirm mobility patterns and
    productivity wage gaps.
  • ICT as a driver of innovation and growth; the role of organizational competences
  • Innovation and intangibles in SME’s and challenges with growth and market entry
  • Interindustry and international knowledge spillovers and their impact on innovation and productivity
  • Role of government and public sector intangibles for government performance and business productivity

Fourth, through both, an econometric productivity analysis and an analysis of economic policies, GLOBALINTO will seek to examine the potential role of economic policy in promoting innovation and productivity growth. This includes examination of the “secular stagnation” argument that economic policies have slowed investments, the role of demand-side policies in general, and policy implications of project work.

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Unveiling Creativity for Innovation in Europe – is a research project running from February 2013 to January 2016 and supported by a grant of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities).

The is a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project which will unveil the significance of creativity and cultural and creative industries in Europe (and beyond).

The research involves 11 partners which are amongst Europe’s leading centres for research (e.g. universities and research institutes) on the economics and management of creativity, design and innovation, many of which also have strong links to research in the arts and humanities. project is co-ordinated by Professor Bruce Tether from Manchester Institute of Innovation Research based within the Manchester Business School or The University of Manchester.

Creativity is a fundamental transformative mechanism of the European economy. To study this mechanism, this project brings together 11 of Europe’s leading innovation research centres, and is structured around six themes: 1. Mapping and measuring the creative-cultural industries and their impacts; 2. Understanding and modelling creativity and design; 3. Entrepreneurship and industrial dynamics in the creative-cultural industries; 4. Digital ecosystems, user participation and the blurring of production and consumption; 5. Intellectual property, IP rights and innovation in creative-cultural activities, and, 6. Policy issues and recommendations. Together, and through nearly 25 person years of research, we will make substantial progress in methodologies and provide fresh and integrated approaches in the study of creativity and innovation, as well as in the dynamics of these industries. This will result in new data sets, policy briefs and tools, as well as academic articles and books. Above all, the project will substantially enhance the state of knowledge and understanding of the nature and characteristics of creativity and innovation, the cultural-creative industries, and their role in shaping the future European economy and society. It will also provide important and reliable evidence regarding the emergence, promotion and stimulation of creativity in relation to innovation in Europe, and how creativity-based entrepreneurship contributes to economic growth and wellbeing. The project will also be a highly valuable and original source of knowledge and understanding for the research, business and policymaking communities at both the EU and national / regional levels. The project will also help build a European research community focused on creativity and innovation, and will contribute to building research capacity by providing opportunities for early career researchers. It will also seek to advance the role of women researchers and research managers in Europe.

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Advancing Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Economic Growth and Social Well-being in Europe (AEGIS)

AEGIS is a research project running from January 2009 to September 2012 and supported by a grant of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities). The AEGIS is a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project.

The research involves 4 partners which are amongst Europe’s leading centres for research (e.g. universities and research institutes) on this area.

AEGIS project is co-ordinated by the Planet S.A. from Greece.

The AEGIS project aimed to study the interactions between knowledge, innovation, economic growth and social well-being in Europe. It focused on knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship as a necessary mechanism and an agent of change mediating between the creation of knowledge and its transformation into economic activity. Knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship is perceived herein as a core interface between two interdependent systems: the knowledge generation and diffusion system, on the one hand, and the productive system, on the other. Both systems shape and are shaped by the broader social context – including customs, culture and institutions – thus also pointing at the linkage of entrepreneurship to that context.

The project had three main objectives (research thrusts). At the micro level, it purported to study in depth the very act of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship, its defining characteristics, boundaries, scope and incentives. At the macro level, it studied the link between knowledge entrepreneurship, economic growth and social wellbeing, also extending to the socio-economic processes that help transform the “animal spirits” (John Maynard Keynes) into a self-reinforcing process for broader societal prosperity. The way the boarder socio-economic environment stokes “animal spirits” and benefits from them was studied within the contexts of various shades of capitalism in Europe and elsewhere, expanding beyond the growth accounting and endogenous growth approaches and issues to novel concepts of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in growth and further, into the underlying issues of social wellbeing such as inclusion, cohesion, equity, opportunities, and social care. Finally, at the policy level, the project took a systematic approach aiming at an organic integration of diverse sets of policies that influence the creation and growth of innovative entrepreneurial ventures based on knowledge generation and diffusion.

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Cost Assessment for Sustainable Energy Systems (CASES)

The project is a research project running from April 2006 to September 2008 and supported by a grant of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems). It is a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project.

The research involves 26 partners which are amongst Europe’s leading centres for research (e.g. universities and research institutes) on the subject.

The project is co-ordinated by FONDAZIONE ENI ENRICO MATTEI, Italy.

The CASES Co-ordination Action has three principal objectives:

  1. To compile detailed estimates of both external and internal costs of energy production for different energy sources for the EU-25 Countries and for some non-EU Countries under energy scenario s to 2030;
  2. To evaluate policy options for improving the efficiency of energy use, taking account of the full cost data;
  3. To disseminate research findings to energy sector producers and users and the policy making community.

These objectives reflect t he general requirement of the Sustainable Energy Systems Work Programme to address “questions of socio-environmental damages of energy production and consumption” and “to make a comparative cost analysis for present and future energy generation alternative s”. The CASES CA is also relevant to the commitments undertaken by the European Union within the Kyoto Protocol. A detailed knowledge of the full cost structure of energy production within the EU-25 and some key non-EU countries is crucial to reach efficie nt decisions concerning emission reduction plans and JI/DCM projects. Objective I is met in a series of 7 inter-linked work packages that, in a dynamic way, evaluate and compare system costs associated with alternative energy technologies, including social and environmental damage costs. Objective II is met in a series of 4 work packages that evaluate alternative policy instruments to internalise environment related externalities in the EU Member States and in selected non-EU countries. Objective III is met through two stakeholder meetings that serve to validate and disseminate the projects outputs, and through a final conference presenting the results of the CA, and finally through a variety of dissemination means appropriate to the likely different audienc es. The success of the project will be judged in terms of the acceptability of the estimated energy costs by the scientific and policy communities and by the use made of these costs in a policy context.

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