Benefi ts of the INNOVATION programme to the strengthening of fi rms? competitiveness in the Czech Republic
Benefi ts of the INNOVATION programme to the strengthening of fi rms? competitiveness in the Czech Republic Th is paper aims at brief evaluation of the INNOVATION programme benefi ts to development of the innovation (knowledge) based competitiveness of supported companies. Th ese benefi ts are evaluated on the bases of the questionnaire survey among supported fi rms, and monitoring indicators provided by the programme steering committee. Th e programme has supported 94 projects with the total grant expenditures exceeded 1,3 billion of CZK. Although the programme was intended to support innovative activities of small and medium enterprises, their share on the number of supported fi rms amounted only 48,9 %. Th e structure of projects according to their technology intensity was relatively heterogeneous with the highest share of medium low tech and medium high tech branches. Supported companies implemented mainly product innovations (59,2 % of total implemented innovations), which were implemented in 83 % of fi rms. Regarding development of R&D activities, the signifi cantly positive infl uence of programme is evident. 81 % of fi rms declared development of their in-house R&D activities as a consequence of the programme support. Th e programme contributed to the increase of cooperation in the fi eld of R&D, mainly by involvement into national and EU R&D programmes. Competitiveness strengthening and development of R&D activities is connected with deepening of cooperation between fi rms and R&D institutions, including universities. Th is cooperation has been seen mainly in development of common R&D projects. As far as the competitiveness is concerned, supported fi rms have increased their value added, on average, by 11,5 %, number of employees by 2,1 %, turnover by 53,8 %, and created 727,5 jobs. Th e strengthening of competitiveness has proved in development of supplier-customer relations. Th e programme has signifi - cantly infl uenced competitiveness of supported companies on highly-developed markets. 81,4 % of fi rms have increased their competitiveness on the common EU market. Finally, benefi ts of the INNOVATION programme indicate that similarly oriented programmes focused on support of innovative entrepreneurship can be used as an eff ective tool leading to the strengthening of innovation based competitiveness, and establishing and deepening the cooperation between companies and R&D institutions.
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Volume (Year): 2009 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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