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Innovation and entrepreneurship: structural determinants of competitiveness


  • B. Robert

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)


Innovation and entrepreneurship have become the cornerstone of growth and competitiveness policies. They are both multidimensional, and thus highly complex, concepts. The focus of the article is on the process nature of innovation which is extensively illustrated by means of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) results for Belgium, its three main neighbouring countries and the EU as a whole. The CIS offers an original view of how firms are performing in the innovation stakes in each economy, defining innovation as the introduction of a new or significantly improved product or process. Among the various dimensions considered are expenditure on innovation, including R&D, cooperation with other economic agents, hampering factors, public support and innovation policies. The specific role of entrepreneurship as a driver of innovation is also considered. The article points up the importance of general framework conditions and the structural characteristics of an economy for its innovation process and performance. In the case of Belgium, its external openness, the necessary fiscal restraint, and the position of its firms at the core of the international production process really do exert an influence on its overall innovation profile.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Robert, 2008. "Innovation and entrepreneurship: structural determinants of competitiveness," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue iv, pages 61-83, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbb:ecrart:y:2008:m:december:i:iv:p:61-83

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
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    5. Azele Mathieu & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2010. "A Note on the Drivers of R&D Intensity," Research in World Economy, Research in World Economy, Sciedu Press, vol. 1(1), pages 56-65, November.
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    7. Audretsch, David B., 2009. "Entrepreneurship capital and economic growth," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 15, pages 27-45.
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    11. Johansson, Börje & Karlsson, Charlie & Backman, Mikaela, 2007. "Innovation Policy Instruments," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 105, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    12. Florence Jaumotte & Nigel Pain, 2005. "Innovation in the Business Sector," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 459, OECD Publishing.
    13. Max Keilbach & Mark Sanders, 2007. "Exploration and Exploitation - The Role of Entrepreneurship and R+D in the Process of Innovation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-108, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
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    More about this item


    innovation; entrepreneurship; CIS;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives


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