November 7, 2006

Innovation policy; Europe or the member states?

Innovatiebeleid vraagt om Europese samenwerking

Press release
Innovatiebeleid op nationaal niveau kan positieve effecten hebben voor andere lidstaten, bijvoorbeeld als die kunnen profiteren van de ontwikkeling van schone technologieën. Er zijn ook negatieve externe effecten van nationaal innovatiebeleid mogelijk, bijvoorbeeld als dat een gebrekkige bescherming biedt tegen imitatie van innovaties.

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Dick Morks
Albert van der Horst

Explorative empirical analysis suggests that public R&D and public funding of private R&D are subject to economies of scale and external effects. This is an argument in favour of a European innovation policy but amongst other things, the heterogeneity in social economic objectives on public R&D spending between Member States pleas for national government involvement. In addition, there are scale economies in the protection of intellectual property and in the development of standards.

We conclude that a European innovation policy could have, or already has, substantial benefits over purely national policy in these areas. With respect to innovation policies targeted at SMEs, we do not find economies of scale or external effects. It seems to be efficient that these policies are mainly conducted at the national level.


Albert van der Horst
Bas Straathof

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