Network for innovation as a way to enhance competitiveness: an overview of Italian food SMEs entering networks
Nowadays innovation represents a strategy to face the economic crisis affecting many sectors globally. It is believed that innovation is one of the most significant factors for the enhancement of competitiveness. Innovation is identified with the creation of value by companies, and networking is believed to be a key way to contribute to the better value creation. In particular networking is object of increasing interest not only by academics but also by political institutions, firstly European Union, due to the beliefs that it can foster innovation among SMEs and hence enhances competitiveness. The development of innovation may requires R&D support from outside and the collaboration with other organizations. It is hence recognized the essential role of networking for the innovation and the participation of SMEs in networks as pivotal strategy. European economy is characterized by SMEs and particularly the agri-food sector. This study carries out an investigation, based on a web survey of Italian food SMEs, presenting an overview of Italian food SMEs engaged in collaborations for innovation purposes. Especially, the examination focuses on the identification of types of organizations mainly involved in collaborations for the resources acquisition and structural factors characterizing such SMEs. Data collection of Italian food SMEs is accomplished by standardized questionnaires designed to be compiled on line in anonymous way. Findings show higher frequency of SMEs involved in collaboration with suppliers for innovation purposes. However, in term of realized innovation, SMEs collaborating with universities demonstrate higher frequency of enhanced innovation. This work presents an additional value in term of comprehension not only for their impact on the nature of the network but also for the conceptualization of proper network able to encourage firm’s participation. Additionally, it must be point out that results from such studies cannot be generalized and extended to outside SMEs nation, hence factors involved in other SMEs cultures need to be carefully investigated at each country’s level.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2013|
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