Public Sector Support for Innovating SMEs
Innovation support for SMEs is considered from the point of view of the "needs" of SMEs in the context of a specific regional economy--London's Lee Valley region. As identified in the literature and, more specifically, in a survey of 100 innovating SMEs in the study region, attention is focused on the innovation support needs that relate to the size characteristics of SMEs. The difficulties of financing innovation are shown to stem from the attitudes of SME owner managers as well as from supply-side failures. The paper examines four different innovation support instruments, taken as constituting key elements of the support "system" within the region. Drawing on the findings of interviews with client businesses, the paper considers the strengths and weaknesses of each policy instrument. Conclusions relate to the overall impact of innovation support provision, in particular the need for greater integration in the design and implementation of policy instruments. Copyright 2001 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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