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Knowledge to money: Assessing the business performance effects of publicly-funded R&D grants

Enrico Vanino (), Stephen Roper and Bettina Becker

Research Policy, 2019, vol. 48, issue 7, 1714-1737

Abstract: UK Research Councils (UKRCs) spend around £3bn pa supporting R&D and innovation. We provide a comprehensive assessment of these grants on the performance of participating UK firms, using data on all projects funded by UKRCs over the 2004–2016 period and applying a propensity score matching approach. We exploit the richness of the data available in the Gateway to Research database by investigating the heterogeneous effect of these projects across several novel directions which have not been explored before. We find a positive effect on the employment and turnover growth of participating firms, both in the short and in the medium term. Exploring impacts across different types of firms we find stronger performance impacts for firms in R&D intensive industries and for smaller and less productive firms. We also consider how impacts vary depending on the characteristics of the funded research projects in terms of partners characteristics, receipt of other research grants and grant value. Finally, we focus on the different sources of grants, analysing in particular the evolution in the funding strategy of Innovate UK. Our results have implications for the extent and targeting of future Research Council funding both in the UK and elsewhere.

Keywords: Public support; R&D; Innovation; Research Council; UK (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 O25 O57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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