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Beyond product innovation; improving innovation policy support for SMEs in traditional industries

Author

Listed:
  • Wintjens, R.

    () (UNU-MERIT / MGSoG)

  • Douglas, D.

    () (Centre for Applied Business Research, Faculty of Business, Education and Law, Staffordshire University)

  • Fairburn, J.

    () (Centre for Applied Business Research, Faculty of Business, Education and Law, Staffordshire University)

  • Hollanders, H.

    () (UNU-MERIT)

  • Pugh, G.

    () (Centre for Applied Business Research, Faculty of Business, Education and Law, Staffordshire University)

Abstract

Innovation support measures in the EU are mostly designed to support product innovation in RD intensive sectors. To increase the still considerable contribution to regional employment and competitiveness from SMEs in traditional manufacturing industries a broader innovation policy mix is more appropriate. This paper draws data from a survey of more than 300 SMEs from seven regions within the European Union, as well as case studies, to address the question How can innovation policy interventions be improved to support SMEs in traditional manufacturing industries more effectively We claim that innovation support should be sensitive to the way SMEs in traditional manufacturing sectors innovate and grow. We find that product innovation and support used for product innovation is less likely to generate growth, than support used for process innovation. Also support used for marketing innovations and organizational innovations are of particular importance - together with internationalization, design and cooperation. The increasingly selective application procedures applied are not the most efficient to generate impact, since those who are supported and those who are supported more frequently, are the ones who are most likely to take the same innovative steps anyhow, irrespective of policy support.

Suggested Citation

  • Wintjens, R. & Douglas, D. & Fairburn, J. & Hollanders, H. & Pugh, G., 2014. "Beyond product innovation; improving innovation policy support for SMEs in traditional industries," MERIT Working Papers 032, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2014032
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2014/wp2014-032.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mairesse, Jacques & Mohnen, Pierre, 2010. "Using Innovation Surveys for Econometric Analysis," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    2. Lesley Potters, 2009. "R&D in low-tech sectors," JRC Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 2009-8, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    3. Robertson, Paul & Smith, Keith & von Tunzelmann, Nick, 2009. "Innovation in low- and medium-technology industries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 441-446, April.
    4. Asheim, Bjørn & M. Bugge, Markus & Coenen, Lars & Herstad, Sverre, 2013. "What Does Evolutionary Economic Geography Bring To The Policy Table? Reconceptualising regional innovation systems," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/5, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    5. Nelson, Richard R, 1981. "Research on Productivity Growth and Productivity Differences: Dead Ends and New Departures," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 1029-1064, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    SMEs; Manufacturing; Innovation policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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