International Conference InSySPo

It is now generally accepted that innovations are the most important sources of long-run productivity growth, they also greatly influence employment creation and destruction, and they have a large (negative and positive) impact on the environment, social wellbeing and security. Different kinds of innovations influence these socioeconomic and political variables in different ways – for example product innovations, on balance, create jobs and process innovations destroy jobs; both increasing productivity at the same time. The mechanisms through which innovations influence growth also vary between different categories of innovation. Therefore, the general category “innovation” should be divided into different categories, and each category should be analyzed with regard to their determinants and consequences . It is the consequences of (different kinds of) innovations we are interested in, after all, rather than the innovations themselves.

The set of research activities in InSySPo includes analyzing innovation processes, their determinants and consequences. The analytical methodologies are theory-based, with a special focus on interdisciplinary approaches that can contribute to the development of advanced applied methods to study innovation systems – national, regional, and sectoral – and, more generally, to study innovation policies and strategies.

A dominant focus of InSySPo is on issues related to Innovation Policies and Strategies, such as:

  • Objectives of innovation policies: both ultimate (political) objectives in terms of the different kinds of consequences mentioned above, but also direct objectives expressed in terms of innovation intensities (or propensities to innovate) – which can actually be influenced by innovation policy instruments.
  • Objectives and practices of innovation by organizations.
  • Rationales for public policy intervention.
  • Rationales for decision-making in organizations.
  • Measurement of innovation performance in order to be able to identify problems to be mitigated by policies and strategies.
  • Causes of policy and strategy problems and instruments to mitigate or solve them.
  • Instrument mixes, custom-designed for the problem to be mitigated.
  • Demand-side innovation policy instruments, such as public procurement for innovation that can be used to mitigate grand global challenges (climate, energy, health, transport, etc), but also enhance national competitiveness.
  • Implementation of innovation policies and its practices.
  • Implementation and management of innovation practices and routines in organizations.
  • Policy learning based on the evaluation of policies pursued.
  • Multidimensional impacts of innovation processes

Within the broad thematic concentration above, InSySPo organized research interests in the following four research trajectories: 1) Innovation policy in a systems perspective; 2) Evaluation of research and development (R&D) programs; 3) Strategic partnerships / networks for innovation in the public and private domain and 4) Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship.

Each research trajectory is subdivided into a set of specific multi-year research paths with attached research deliverables in the form of research articles, books, edited volumes, reports, and Ph.D. dissertations.

This conference will provide insights into these complex questions by addressing a series of topics, concentrating on evidence from and lessons for emerging economies. It will consider knowledge entrepreneurship to include both small entrepreneurial companies as well as corporate entrepreneurship in well established incumbents which is of great importance to emerging economies. Specific areas of concentration will be:

    • 1. Business Demography: birth/entry, survival, death/exit, growth. Geography of
      Knowledge-Intensive Enterprises (KIE)

Factors contributing to business demography dispersion across regions/countries: quality of local governance, R&D expenditures, workforce education, business-friendly regulations, financing constraints. Emphasis on KIEs.

    • 2. Barriers to Innovation for Small Business. Space specificities

The literature has named a long series of potential financial and non-financial barriers to innovation such as excessive risk, high innovation cost, lack of finance, organizational rigidity, lack of qualified personnel, lack of information technology, insufficient market information, legislation, regulation, standards, and lack of technical services. Such barriers affect the impact on innovation of firm-specific factors (size, R&D expenditures, knowledge acquisition and adaptation, IPRs), network-related factors (external sources of funding and information, cooperation), and government-support factors (innovation funding, public procurement, tax breaks and subsidies).

    • 3. Regional Innovation Ecosystem, Smart Specialization, Global Value Chains (GVCs)

Scholars have underlined the importance of interactions between elements of an entrepreneurial system. Arguably entrepreneurial activity should be studied at the regional level and in close proximity with regional and sectoral innovation systems, stressing networks, learning, interactions, as well as strong linkages of local actors and international players such as multinational corporations. The rapid spread of Global Value Chains during the past few decades introduce a particularly significant element to consider. Important fuzzy areas remain, nonetheless, such as our understanding of the institutional context of interactions, including the role of universities and public research institutes. Smart specialization has emerged as a place-based approach to analyze the strengths and potential of an economy and identify strategic areas for policy intervention.

    • 4. Social Inclusion. Regional Employment Dynamics, Culture, Local Knowledge

The concept of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) has been promoted to indicate broader inclusion in research and innovation activities. Societal actors – researchers, citizens, policy makers, business, third sector organizations, others – are supposed to work in concert together to ensure better alignment of T&I outcomes with the values, needs and expectations of society. Regions often demonstrate their own population dynamics, culture, historical precedents, and educational achievements which could play a useful role in informing public policy on research, innovation and socio-economic development.

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