Regional innovation policy for small-medium enterprises
This work provides an extensive evaluation of the numerous policy instruments used by regional governments in Europe to promote innovation activity in Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). The instruments are compared and benchmarked in order to identify "good practice", in an effort to bridge the gap between the theory of regional innovation and real-world policy implementation. The authors argue for a new policy paradigm and highlight the value of an interactive style of policy intervention. Since the majority of SMEs have a limited resource base with regard to innovation, they need external orientation to understand and adapt to their environment. Thus, the main role for policy should be to increase the innovative capacity of a region and its SMEs by fostering interactive learning both within firms, and within the region as a whole. The authors also collect extensive data on the efficiency of innovation-driven policy measures and introduce three key concepts for successful regional innovation policy: coherence, interactivity and cumulative character. This volume will provide practical lessons and useful comparative results for a variety of professionals working on SME-oriented innovation at the EU, national and regional level. In particular, the mix of theoretical and empirical material should be of considerable interest to academics and researchers studying regional innovation systems and their role in knowledge-based economies. The book should also appeal to professional consultants, practitioners and policymakers who should find the frameworks for the evaluation and design of innovation policies to be of value.