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Innovation by Design: Impact and Effectiveness of Public Support for Business Innovation

David A. Wolfe

Annals of Science and Technology Policy, 2019, vol. 3, issue 3, 258–347

Abstract: As the 21st century unfolds, there is a growing recognition that the competitive global landscape is altering the context within which government support for innovation programs should be assessed. This monograph explores a number of conceptual and policy design issues relevant for the adoption of innovation policies. It reviews some of the conceptual frameworks used in leading industrial economies, as well as some countries that have experienced more rapid innovation-based (RIB) economic development. The monograph examines the program models that exist for the design and implementation of government support of business innovation at different jurisdictional levels. It places this examination within the context of two broad approaches found in the literature, the traditional neoclassical approach and more recent evolutionary approaches. The monograph explores the existing evidence on the impact of a range of policy instruments, drawing upon several recent reviews of both the academic and more policy-oriented literature. It situates this review in the context of a discussion of the shift in focus from research to technology development to innovation-based policies over the course of the postwar period. It asks what value the “policy mixes†approach adds to our understanding of the design and implementation of government programs for the support of business innovation. Finally, it addresses the question of how the introduction of innovation programs within a federal system complicates the evaluation of their impact and creates a need for greater policy alignment. In this respect, it asks what value the multilevel governance perspective, developed initially in the EU, but adopted in other countries, contributes to our understanding of how the effectiveness of policies is supported or constrained by the behaviour of other actors within a multilevel governance system.

Date: 2019
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