Contests for Cooperation: A New Approach in German Innovation Policy
A new approach in German innovation policy organizes contests of proposals for developing innovation networks. Based on an overview of the different programs, we investigate the advantages, problems and limitations of such an approach. We find that this type of policy may have a relatively large impact and can, therefore, be regarded as a rather efficient instrument of innovation policy. Compared to conventional policies, administration of the program is a much more critical issue. The contest approach may stimulate learning effects on the side of the administration but may also require a high degree of flexibility. The main disadvantage is the additional time that is required for conducting the contest. As a distinct 'picking the winner' approach, the contest approach is not suited as a means for achieving a leveling-out of regional welfare levels.
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