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Maintaining Switzerland's Top Innovation Capacity

Listed author(s):
  • Florence Jaumotte

Despite some weakening in the 1990s, partly due to sluggish trend growth, the Swiss innovation performance has been very strong. There are, however, areas in which policy reforms could strengthen innovation further and help Switzerland maintain its lead in the face of a changing global environment. Boosting competition, simplifying administrative burdens and reforming the bankruptcy law would go a long way towards stimulating the innovativeness of small enterprises in sheltered services sectors, which becomes more crucial to sustaining high domestic innovation in a context where large firms are increasingly mobile. On the other hand,the growing knowledge economy and the increasing competition from emerging countries in skill-intensive activities press for further upgrading the vocational education system and increasing the efficiency of the university system. Regarding innovation-specific policies, budget spending priorities on education and research should be better protected and more resources devoted to bridge the gap between fundamental research and the market, especially through the activities of the Commission for Technology and Innovation. This Working Paper relates to the 2006 OECD Economic Survey of Switzerland ( Préserver le haut niveau des capacités d?innovation de la Suisse Nonobstant une certaine détérioration durant les années 1990 liée en partie à une croissance tendencielle faible, la performance de la Suisse en matière d'innovation a été très bonne. Dans certains domaines cependant, des réformes permettraient d'encore renforcer cette performance et d'aider la Suisse à préserver sa position de leader malgré les changements qui s'opèrent dans l'environnement international. Ainsi, une intensification de la concurrence, accompagnée d'un allègement des charges administratives et d'une réforme du droit des faillites contribueraient largement à stimuler la capacité d'innovation des petites entreprises opérant dans les secteurs de services abrités, condition importante pour maintenir un niveau intérieur d'innovation élevé dans un contexte où les grandes entreprises sont de plus en plus mobiles. D'autre part, le développement de l'économie du savoir et la concurrence toujours plus grande des pays émergents dans les activités qualifiées plaident pour un renforcement du système d'education professionnelle et une amélioration de l'efficience du système universitaire. Concernant les politiques spécifiques d'innovation, il faudrait s'efforcer de mieux satisfaire les priorités des dépenses budgétaires en matière d'éducation et de recherche ainsi que d'accroître les ressources pour combler le fossé entre recherche fondamentale et le marché, surtout au travers des activités de la Commission pour la Technologie et l'Innovation. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de la Suisse, 2006 (

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 487.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2006
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:487-en
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