Forms of Supporting Local Innovative Business Activity in European Countries

January 2017
Journal of International Economic Policy;2017, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p96
Academic Journal
The article investigates contemporary trends of innovation policy of European countries, describes the essence of contemporary mechanisms and tools for supporting local innovative development. The following most powerful tools for facilitating scientific and technical and innovative business activity are discovered: direct support of private R&D, financing of innovative enterprises, governmental and private cooperative scientific and research projects. A trend is identified for decreasing the share of institutional financing of R&D, and increasing of weight of competitive financing of academic institutions. A conclusion is made as for spreading of technologies commercialization processes support, especially on final stages thereof; the share of these has increased in respect of governmental programs focused on early stages of scientific and research projects. An insight is that within the last two decades the tools for facilitating local innovative business activities have been diversified in the EU: alongside with long-term collaborative governmental and private R&D and initiatives for developing innovative science intensive clusters, short-term tools have been significantly spread, such as innovation projects vouchers and science intensive start-ups support. Given that, it is established that traditionally developed toolkit for supporting small and medium enterprises is being complimented with scaled programs of large companies direct financing. A general trend is identified for increasing the weight of collaborative programs, while the share of individual subsidies and grants for R&D and that of companies innovative activity has substantially decreased. Higher effectiveness of start-ups facilitation measures is concluded, as well as that of venture investments, in comparison with individual subsidies. The leading role of start-ups in EU economy is determined by a range of advantages originating from dynamic process of formation thereof, namely producing large number of new ideas, innovative projects diversification, creation of new jobs. However, the key feature of start-ups is that these are indicators of favourable local innovative environment, since fast increase of start-ups and spin-offs number in a given region is an indicator of accumulating "critical weight" in process of forming dynamic innovative clusters. KEYWORDS. Innovation policy, local innovative business activity, mechanisms and tools of supporting local innovation development, commercialization of technologies, scientific and technical collaboration, technologies transfer, science intensive clusters, start-ups, vouchers for innovative projects, competence centres.


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