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The strength of science and technology drivers for SME innovation

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  • Mario Parrilli

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  • Aitziber Elola
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    Abstract

    This analysis feeds into the academic debate on the most proficient innovation mode across firms, placing special emphasis on the characteristic case of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Of the three main approaches considered, the first stresses the importance of innovation based on science and technology (STI) drivers, such as research and development (R&D) and human capital, whereas the second approach emphasises innovation based on learning by doing, by using and by interacting (DUI); the third, more recent approach is conceived as a combination of the former two (STI + DUI). In this paper, the three models are tested on a sample of 409 SMEs that have been supported by a public programme for innovation promotion developed by the Basque Government in Spain. The result is quite different from what is expected, yet it is insightful and potentially useful for both academics and policy-makers. Contrarily to what one would expect, SME innovation output is in fact more sensitive to STI drivers than to DUI drivers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 897-907

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:39:y:2012:i:4:p:897-907

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100338

    Related research

    Keywords: Small firms; Innovation modes; R&D; M21; O32; L26;

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    1. Lundvall, Bengt-Ake & Johnson, Bjorn & Andersen, Esben Sloth & Dalum, Bent, 2002. "National systems of production, innovation and competence building," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 213-231, February.
    2. Zvi Griliches, 1979. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 92-116, Spring.
    3. Roberta Capello & Alessandra Faggian, 2005. "Collective Learning and Relational Capital in Local Innovation Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 75-87.
    4. Audretsch, David B, 1998. "Agglomeration and the Location of Innovative Activity," CEPR Discussion Papers 1974, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
    6. Cooke, Philip & Wills, David, 1999. " Small Firms, Social Capital and the Enhancement of Business Performance through Innovation Programmes," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 219-34, November.
    7. Jensen, Morten Berg & Johnson, Bjorn & Lorenz, Edward & Lundvall, Bengt Ake, 2007. "Forms of knowledge and modes of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 680-693, June.
    8. Mark Rogers, 2004. "Networks, Firm Size and Innovation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 141-153, 03.
    9. North, David & Smallbone, David & Vickers, Ian, 2001. " Public Sector Support for Innovating SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 303-17, June.
    10. Cooke, Philip, 2001. "Regional Innovation Systems, Clusters, and the Knowledge Economy," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 945-74, December.
    11. Lydia Greunz, 2005. "Intra- and inter-regional knowledge spillovers: Evidence from European regions," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 449-473, April.
    12. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
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