Innovation-Related Knowledge Flows in European Industry: Extent, Mechanisms, Implications

The project is a research project running from January 1999 to June 2001 and supported by a grant of the 4th Framework Programme of the European Commission (Targeted Socio-Economic Research Programme). It is a multi-partner and multi-disciplinary project.

The research involves 6 partners which are amongst Europe’s leading centers for research (e.g. universities and research institutes) on the subject.

The project is co-ordinated by Professor Yannis Caloghirou of the National Technical university of Athens, Greece.

There is by now a large body of theoretical and empirical research that supports an active Science and Technology (S&T) Policy. In the case of the European Union (EU), a complex nexus of S&T policies are already in place at three levels of governance: European Union, EU member state, and local/regional. Core S&T policy concerns of the EU include raising the competitiveness of European industry, developing a European “economic space” and European “research area”, narrowing the “technology gap” among EU member states, and improving the economic and social cohesion within the region. These pan -European goals require policies to enhance linkages among knowledge -intensive activities in different EU member states and regions.
Contemporary S&T policies a re complex both in terms of program coverage and implementation. The complexity is due to the effect on policy making of intensified global competition, political and economic constraints, and significant advances over the past fifteen years in our under standing of the process of technological advance. These advances have led to a better understanding of the impact of technological innovation on competitive advantage and economic growth, and the direct and indirect effects of an accelerating pace of innovation on modern economies. One must add to these the development of a theory of National Innovation Systems (NIS), which has emphasized the institutional and spatial dimensions of the technological innovation process.

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Science and Technology Policies Towards Research Joint Ventures (STEP-TO-RJVs PROJECT)

Since the early 1980s, developed country governments have made a strong effort to promote cooperative industrial research. Europe has been at the forefront. The support of international research consortia has been the major funding mechanism of the Framework Programmes on RTD. Awareness and support for cooperative RTD has also increased at the national level, but there are great policy approach differences between member states as well as between Europe as a whole and the United States and Japan. An interesting development of the last couple decades in Europe seems to be the increasing convergence of key policy areas at the national level that directly affect the incentives of firms to participate in research joint ventures, namely competition policies and intellectual property rights policies.

Direct support to promote cooperative research and development activities – research joint ventures (RJVs in short) has gained enormously in popularity in recent years. There is by now voluminous theoretical economic literature on the incentives of firms to join RJVs. Unfortunately with relatively few exceptions, theoretical analysis has not been followed by systematic empirical work and the impact of the policies adopted has not been sufficiently evaluated. The object of the proposed research is to do exactly this.
The main objectives of the proposed research are the following:
– To describe the evolution of policies towards RJVs in a specified representative sample of seven EU member states and compare them with the respective policies practiced in the United States and Japan.
– To examine the impact of the above policies on individual enterprises, industrial clusters and sectors, regions and countries. and to provide an overall assessment of the interplay between EU and national policies.
– To evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented RJVs policies in promoting a number of public policy objectives such as industrial competitiveness, employment creation, skills upgrading, SMEs access to RTD-system, economic and social cohesion.

– Last, to examine the relationship between RJV policies with other policies at the European and national levels and, again, provide comparative analysis with the USA and Japan. A special emphasis will be given to policies towards competition, intellectual property rights (IPRs) and cohesion.
Since RJVs are a distinct form of interfirm cooperation, the starting point of our analysis will be the enterprise. We will create an extensive EU-based RJVs data base compiling datasets of firms which participated in RJVs sponsored by EU programmes. This EU-based RJVs data base will be compatible with a similar US-based RJVs data base, which has already been created under the supervision of a key-member of the coordinating team. It should be mentioned that the comparability of the results across the two regions is of enormous interest for policy analysts and policy- makers. The processing of these data sets through the use of quantitative analysis will be combined with in-depth qualitative analysis of technology and other policies affecting RJVs.
Furthermore, a number of case studies will be undertaken in order to better understand the factors affecting the formation and impact of RJVs in the EU.
The project will provide results and tools of great value to economists and other social scientists and company managers interested in industrial organization and technological change as well as policy decision makers interested in improving current policies to enhance their socio – economic

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European Biotechnology Innovation Systems

“European Biotechnology Innovation Systems (EBIS PROJECT, No: SOE1-CT98-1117)”, με επιστημονική υπεύθυνο την καθηγήτρια J. Senker (SPRU,University of Sussex), Commission of the European Union, DG Research, 1999-2000

Information Society and Cohesion. Phase III. The case of Greece

“Information Society and Cohesion. Phase III. The case of Greece”, Nexus-Europe/DG XIII, DG XVI, 1995.