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Innovation on Demand: Can Public Procurement Drive Market Success of Innovations

  • Aschhoff, Birgit
  • Sofka, Wolfgang

Public procurement has been at the centre of recent discussions on innovation policy on both European and national levels (e.g., Aho-Report, Barcelona Strategy). It has a large potential to stimulate innovation since it accounts for 16% of combined EU-15 GDP. We embed public procurement for innovation into the broader framework of public policies to stimulate innovation: regulations, R&D subsidies and knowledge infrastructure (i.e. basic research at universities). We synthesize the characteristics of all four instruments based on existing literature and quantitatively compare their effects on innovation success. Our empirical investigation rests upon a survey of more than 1,100 innovative firms in Germany. Our survey puts us in the position to trace all sources of valuable innovation impulses, namely public customers, law and regulations, universities and public funding for R&D. We relate these sources back to innovation success. We find that (non-defense related) public procurement and knowledge spillovers from universities propel innovation success equally. In a second step, we explore whether these effects vary across firms (e.g. size, location, industry). The benefits of university knowledge apply uniformly to all firms. However, public procurement is especially effective for smaller firms in regions under economic stress as well as in distributive and technological services. Based on these findings targeted policy recommendations can be developed.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 08-052.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:7375
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  1. David, Paul A. & Hall, Bronwyn H. & Toole, Andrew A., 1999. "Is Public R&D a Complement or Substitute for Private R&D? A Review of the Econometric Evidence," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt1sz6g8bv, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  8. Pavitt, Keith, 1991. "What makes basic research economically useful?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 109-119, April.
  9. Lööf, Hans & Broström, Anders, 2004. "Does Knowledge Diffusion between University and Industry Increase Innovativeness?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 21, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, revised 26 Jan 2006.
  10. Grimpe, Christoph & Sofka, Wolfgang, 2009. "Search patterns and absorptive capacity: Low- and high-technology sectors in European countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 495-506, April.
  11. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
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  14. Mansfield, Edwin, 1991. "Academic research and industrial innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-12, February.
  15. DUGUET Emmanuel, 2004. "Are R&D subsidies a substitute or a complement to privately funded R&D? Evidence from France using propensity score methods for non- experimental data," Public Economics 0411007, EconWPA.
  16. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Fier, Andreas, 2002. "Do Innovation Subsidies Crowd Out Private Investment? Evidence from the German Service Sector," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-04, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  17. Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Swedish System of Active Labor Market Programs in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 133-155, February.
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  19. Czarnitzki, Dirk & Hussinger, Katrin, 2004. "The Link Between R&D Subsidies, R&D Spending and Technological Performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 04-56, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  20. Schartinger, Doris & Rammer, Christian & Fischer, Manfred M. & Frohlich, Josef, 2002. "Knowledge interactions between universities and industry in Austria: sectoral patterns and determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 303-328, March.
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