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Measuring innovation competencies and performances: a survey of large firms in Belgium

  • Carine Peeters
  • Bruno Van Pottelsberghe

Based on original survey data, this paper provides evidence on firms' innovation competencies and performances in Belgium. The relationship with firm size and technological opportunity is systematically evaluated. The first conclusion is that firms recognize the strategic importance of innovation but fail to undertake the "practical" steps to develop it. Large firms globally better master innovation competencies. However, small firms allocate the largest share of profits to finance innovative projects. In terms of performances, small and large firms, as opposed to medium ones, show the best results for their R&D investments and patent applications. It is also shown that the share of turnover due to incremental innovation is the highest within small firms, while technological breakthroughs are more important within large firms. There is a positive relation between technological opportunity and innovation competencies, R&D investments and patent applications. Services firms have relatively weak records on all innovation indicators but perform well concerning human resources, educational activities and the management of market information. Foreign firms invest significantly less in R&D than local firms. Finally costs- and risks-related barriers to innovation are the most important to all firms, whatever the size and technological opportunity.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 04-005.RS.

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Length: 25 p.
Date of creation: Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by: Solvay Business School, Centre Emile Bernheim
Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:04-005
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