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From Bricks to Brains: Increasing the Contribution of Knowledge-based Capital to Growth in Ireland

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  • David Haugh
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    Abstract

    With sound framework conditions, fine universities, good infrastructure and policies friendly towards foreign direct investment, Ireland scores high in international innovation scoreboards. Overall, policies to boost innovation and entrepreneurship are on the right track, but investment in knowledge-based capital could be made a more dynamic source of growth and jobs. While Ireland has made good progress towards building up its scientific capabilities, innovation capacity remains weaker than in other small advanced OECD countries, such as Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. To become more effective, the innovation strategy should be simplified, with a drastic reduction in the number of government agencies involved in funding innovation, so as to better focus on strengthening the linkages between the business and academic communities. While attracting high-tech multinationals should remain central, there is potential to better develop spillovers between these firms and domestic SMEs, notably by establishing applied research centres. Entrepreneurship should be fostered by improving the business environment, including access to non-bank finance, streamlining the insolvency regime and transfer of intellectual property rights, and upgrading the broadband network. This working paper relates to the 2013 Economic Survey of Ireland (www.oecd.org/eco/surveys/ireland) De l'économie traditionnelle à l'économie du savoir : Accroître la contribution du capital intellectuel à la croissance en Irlande Avec des conditions-cadres propices, des universités de qualité, une bonne infrastructure et des politiques favorables à l’investissement direct étranger, l’Irlande figure en bonne place sur les tableaux de bord internationaux de l’innovation. Dans l’ensemble, les politiques de stimulation de l’innovation et de l’entrepreneuriat vont dans la bonne direction, mais il serait possible de faire de l’investissement en capital intellectuel une source plus dynamique de croissance et d’emplois. Si l’Irlande a bien progressé du point de vue du renforcement de ses capacités scientifiques, sa capacité d’innovation reste plus faible que celle d’autres petites économies avancées de l’OCDE, comme l’Autriche, le Danemark, la Suède et la Suisse. Pour devenir plus efficace, la stratégie d’innovation doit être simplifiée, avec une réduction draconienne du nombre d’organismes publics qui participent au financement de l’innovation, de façon à mieux se focaliser sur le resserrement des liens entre les entreprises et les milieux universitaires. Même s’il doit rester essentiel d’attirer des multinationales de haute technologie, il est possible de favoriser davantage les retombées entre ces entreprises et les PME nationales, notamment en créant des centres de recherche appliquée. Il faudrait stimuler l’entrepreneuriat en améliorant les conditions d’activité des entreprises, notamment l’accès aux financements non bancaires, la simplification du régime de faillite et le transfert de droits de propriété intellectuelle, et en mettant à niveau le réseau haut débit. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE de l’Irlande, 2013 (www.oecd.org/eco/etudes/irlande)

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 1094.

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    Date of creation: 12 Nov 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1094-en

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    Keywords: entrepreneurship; higher education; Ireland; science; start-ups; internationalisation; R&D tax credits; insolvency; SME financing; intellectual property rights; venture capital; innovation; direct foreign investment; ICT infrastructure; investissement direct; innovation; enseignement supérieur; Irlande; capital risque; droits de propriété intellectuelle; infrastructure des TIC; science; crédit d’impôt en faveur de la R-D; internationalisation; financement des PME; jeunes entreprises; coûts des faillites; entrepreneuriat;

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