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Policy News03

INNO-Grips Newsletter July 2011

TablE of ContentS

Lead Article

Editorial: New Evidence, New Initiatives, New Funding // P 02

Simplifying procedures and increasing the impact of research:

Horizon 2020: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding // P 03 Feeding “Gazelles” and “Gorillas”: How to Foster High Growth of Innovative SMEs // P 05 Services – A Stepchild of Innovation Policy? // P 07 Measuring Open Innovation: INNO-Grips Study Tackles a Challenging Task // P 10 New Innovation Policy Initiatives at the European Level // P 12 International Innovation Policy News // P 14

“Horizon 2020”– a Common Strategic Framework for EU research and innovation Research and innovation are at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy: smart, sustainable and inclusive growth requires further advances in enabling technologies. However, the European Union’s research and innovation system needs some innovation itself to deliver the expected results. “Horizon 2020”, a new strategic framework, will make Europe better at turning knowledge into innovation. read more on Page 03

About INNO-Grips // P 17 Imprint // P 18

European Commission Enterprise and Industry

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European Innovation Policy

New Evidence, New Initiatives, New Funding Tomasz Jerzyniak INNO-Grips coordinator European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry

Dear Readers, The latest innovation policy developments include the ongoing debate on the future EU funding instruments for research and innovation, new analytical contributions on innovation, and new pilot initiatives launched at the EU level. We explore these for you in this newsletter. The debate is now underway on the new generation of funding for the entire EU as from 2014, and the Commission is working on a budget proposal to be presented by the end of 2011. The budget for the EU is small in relative terms - it amounts to only about 1% of EU GNI - but it has a significant impact on the life of European citizens, and provides true added value. One of the key priorities for the new funding period is investment in research and innovation, and this will benefit from some real increases over the next seven years. The Commission is proposing a new common EU research and innovation strategy, “Horizon 2020”, which will eliminate fragmentation in innovation activities and create strong synergies across the EU, backed by € 80 billion to boost Europe’s global competitiveness and help tackle global challenges. The first article in this newsletter offers an introduction to the public consultations on the Common Strategic Framework for EU research and Innovation Funding, and to the recently-published results. There are new findings from our analytical activities, too, and I would like to draw your attention to our latest policy briefs,

which focus on areas of great interest and relevance for economic development, but that are still not fully investigated and exploited in the wider framework of innovation policy. The policy brief published this month focuses on high-growth enterprises, which are increasingly attracting the attention of policy-makers because they are seen as a key factor in creating jobs and economic growth. A new EU indicator is under development to measure the share of fast-growing innovative companies, but this policy brief provides some immediate suggestions about what can be done at EU level to support highgrowth SMEs in general. It also explains how policies in support of high-growth SMEs are different from general SME policy, and provides some valuable examples of policies that already exist in Europe and beyond, but which are not widely known or practised. Our upcoming policy brief will deal with service innovations. Although services account for 70% of employment in Europe and have been attracting the attention of policy-makers for the last few years, they are still not fully recognised as innovation creators, so support policies for service innovation have remained relatively underdeveloped. We have also been examining how efficiency and effectiveness in business innovation processes may be increased by applying the concept of open innovation. The results of our study offer new insights into how and in which situations open innovation practices increase the innovation performance of enterprises. Finally, I would like you to become acquainted with two very new European innovation policy initiatives that are presented briefly in this issue. One is the publication of a call for proposals to support

public procurement of innovation, a concept presented by the DirectorateGeneral for Enterprise and Industry at the conference on “Public Procurement of Innovation: Facing Societal Challenges, Delivering Better Public Services & Supporting SMEs to Innovate” in Turin last June. The other is the launch of the Social Innovation Europe initiative, which will provide expertise and a networking platform for social entrepreneurs, the public, and the third sector. Our newsletter is rounded off with a series of short international news items on innovation policy developments, as well as information on upcoming events. If you are intrigued by the world of innovation policy, please note that all our articles are complemented with links that will direct you to further reading - and do not hesitate to visit our PRO INNO Europe website for a wide range of other publications! Tomasz Jerzyniak



Simplifying procedures and increasing the impact

“Horizon 2020” – a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding Research and innovation are at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy. Smart, sustainable and inclusive growth requires further advances in enabling technologies. However, there is broad consensus that the European Union’s research and innovation system itself needs some innovation to deliver the expected results. “Horizon 2020”, the new strategic framework, will simplify procedures in RTD funding and integrate distinct policies more effectively, so as to make Europe better at turning knowledge into innovation.

With “Europe 2020”, the European Union has set out its growth strategy for the coming decade. The strategy is focused on a long-term vision of achieving “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth” – in other words, making possible economic growth (which is necessary to sustain employment and the “European model” of social systems) without compromising environmental and social objectives. Research and innovation are at the heart of this strategy, because this challenging vision can be achieved only through further progress in enabling technologies. For example, further improvements in energy efficiency (a necessity for sustainable growth) will require technological progress in industrial production methods as well as in the energy sector. Creating the right framework conditions for R&D and innovation To ensure that research delivers the results needed to realise the Europe 2020

objectives, the framework conditions must be right. This includes, as a basis, the availability of sufficient resources for R&D. The EU has therefore set itself, in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy, the objective of increasing spending on R&D to 3% of GDP by 2020. Several Member States have already achieved this target, and others are currently taking measures to reach it. But while a critical mass of financial resources for R&D is certainly important, this alone does not ensure proper research outcomes. Creating the right framework conditions also means ensuring that efficient processes for the management of RTD programmes are in place, and that different programmes and their actions are fully coordinated, so that their synergies are exploited and redundancies are avoided. EU framework programmes have often been criticised for excessively bureaucratic procedures, overlaps between programmes, and ineffectiveness. In response, the “Innovation Union” flagship initiative (Ref. 1) of Europe 2020 emphasizes

the need for a strategic and integrated approach to research and innovation. It proposes, inter alia, “reforms to get more value for money and tackle fragmentation [in research and innovation]” and demands that “access to EU programmes must be simplified and their leverage effect on private sector investment enhanced”. The European Commission is determined to address these challenges and further improve the overall framework of its R&D policies. That is why it has launched a public consultation on future EU research and innovation funding. The objective is to develop a common strategic framework for the period starting in 2013. The framework was given the name “Horizon 2020”. A Green Paper launched the debate The consultation about the new framework was launched in February 2011 with the publication of a Green Paper (Ref. 2) that invited the research, business, government and civil society communities,

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and individual citizens too, to engage in the debate. The Green Paper opens with an overview of the main EU research and innovation funding schemes of the current period (2007-2013): t he 7th Framework Programme (FP7) with a budget of about €53 billion, supporting RTD and demonstration activities across the EU; t he Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), with a budget of €3.6 billion, aiming to encourage the competitiveness of European industry, in particular SMEs; t he European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) as an autonomous EU body bringing together the higher education, research and business sectors to stimulate world-leading innovation, receiving a contribution of €309 million from the EU budget; t he Cohesion policy, contributing about €86 billion (almost 25% of the total Structural Funds budget) to enhancing the capacity of regional economies to change and innovate. The Green Paper argues that “Europe needs to make a step change in its research and innovation performance” and that related activities should accordingly be “better linked”, breaking away “from traditional compartmentalised approaches”. It proposes that policies and EU funding “from research to market” should be better integrated to “make Europe better at turning knowledge into innovation”. This assessment is backed with results from the FP7 interim evaluation, which found some structural weaknesses such as “the lack of a whole chain approach to research and innovation, the complexity of instruments, over-bureaucratic rules and procedures and a lack of transparency.” Future programmes should therefore focus on clarifying objectives, reducing complexity, and avoiding duplication and fragmentation, as well as simplifying and broadening participation. In short, what is needed is the development of a common strategic framework for EU research and innovation.

To put it bluntly: let us keep the good things, but remedy the (well-known) weaknesses. But how can this be done? The Green Paper posed 27 questions in this context, and invited practical suggestions. The responses to these questions were collected through a public consultation, supported by a website. (Ref. 3) Results of the public consultation The consultation on the Green Paper started on 9 February and was closed on 20 May 2011. A first analysis of the results was published on 10 June 2011. (Ref. 4) Stakeholders made intensive use of the opportunity to make suggestions. 775 position papers were received, and more than 1,300 responses submitted through the online questionnaire. The consultation website was visited nearly 90,000 times by more than 38,000 unique visitors from 152 countries. Challenging as it is to summarise such a volume and diversity of response, the summary document highlights some points that were mentioned by many respondents. All in all, there was overwhelming support for the general concept of bringing research and innovation closer together. Simplification of procedures is indeed seen as a key priority to be addressed. Respondents strongly supported an approach that places EU funding for research and innovation close to societal challenges, and therefore to overarching policy objectives in areas such as climate change, energy security and efficiency, demographic change or resource efficiency. While advocating changes, respondents also stressed the need for continuity in those elements of the current programmes that are considered to be the most successful, notably the European Research Council and Marie Curie actions. Many respondents suggested that funding opportunities should be less prescriptive and more open, with sufficient scope for smaller projects and consortia, arguing that these allowed for more innovation. Particular emphasis was urged to improving the opportunities for EU funding

for SMEs with innovation requirements. Finally, the views expressed indicate a need for a combination of “curiosity-driven” and “agenda-driven” activities. The way forward Publication of a more detailed analysis of the responses received is planned for July / August 2011. The broad debate on this Green Paper will be complemented by further targeted consultations, such as on the ERA framework and the EIT’s strategic innovation agenda. The European Commission will then possess a detailed picture of the diversity of stakeholders’ thinking about the plans for Horizon 2020. The real work of developing the framework’s architecture, and then implementing it, can then begin. This is nothing less than a huge challenge. While there is agreement on the broader objectives and underlying societal challenges, the Commission will have to deal with different ideas on how best to realise the key objective of increasing the impact of EU research, not to mention conflicts between the diverse interests of distinct groups and individuals in the research and innovation system. A courageous step forward, taking some risks, is certainly needed to maximise the societal benefit of research and innovation in the future. The European innovation system, as good as it is, could well need some major innovation itself; with Horizon 2020, the Commission is committed to taking on this task.

F u r t h e r I n f o r m at i o n Website of Horizon 2020 - the future Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (by DG Research and Innovation). research/horizon2020/ index_en.cfm?pg=home

References (1) COM(2010) 546 final (2) “From Challenges to Opportunities: Towards a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation funding”. COM(2011) 48, 09.02.2011. (3) (4) Green Paper on a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding: Analysis of public consultation. Report published by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (2011). ISBN 978-92-79-20325-1.

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Fostering high growth of Europe’s innovative small enterprises

Feeding “Gazelles” and “Gorillas” How to foster high growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been examined by an INNO-Grips policy brief. Its conclusions suggest the need for a comprehensive approach promoting certified coaching, access to equity finance, and internationalisation – and removing incentives to stay small. Policies should aim at providing a fertile breeding ground for SMEs to grow, rather than at trying to “pick winners” and foster them. High-growth enterprises have attracted considerable attention from policy makers in recent years – “for good reason”, says study author Stefan Lilischkis from empirica, “because research has widely substantiated the importance of highgrowth new companies for job creation.” The number and share of high-growth enterprises is small, but the number and share of jobs they create is disproportionally large. However, many questions remain open. What role can the European Union play in supporting high-growth enterprises? How are policies in support of high-growth SMEs distinct from general SME policy? What examples of such effective policies exist in Europe and beyond? An INNO-Grips study was designed to find answers to these questions. Key definitions and statistical evidence The OECD defines high-growth enterprises as firms with average annualised growth in employees or in turnover greater than 20% a year over a three-year period, and with ten or more employees at the beginning of the observation period. If these firms are not older than five years, they are named “gazelles”, symbolising the fast movement of these firms – one of the definitions that have become accepted in publications on this subject. The parallel notion of “gorillas” – which denotes “large international

players” – may however be more what many policymakers desire: the European Microsofts, Googles and Amazons. Comparable international data about high-growth SMEs do not exist, so a consistent picture of the prevalence of these firms cannot yet be drawn. The OECDEurostat Entrepreneurship Indicators Programme found that in 2006, the US was ahead of most European countries for which data were available. A Eurobarometer study found that in the three years before 2009, in several European countries the share of highgrowth firms among all firms was larger than 20%. Another recent study found that the share of young enterprises among large innovative companies was much greater in the US and in other countries than in the EU. The US, it seems, might be a better breeding ground for high-growth enterprises than Europe. But the importance of such “big young global leaders” for overall economic wealth is open to question, given the existence of “hidden champions” in Europe. These are smaller global leaders, some in niche markets; they are enterprises that may be long-established, although little known to the public because of the highly specific nature of their products and services, but they are nevertheless very innovative and very important for jobs and wealth.

Growth determinant and related policies A crucial question for evidence-based and effective policies to foster enterprise growth is: why do enterprises grow? Or rather: why do some enterprises grow while others do not? Answers to such questions are complex. Many factors can trigger enterprise growth and, vice versa, possible barriers to growth are manifold. The recent IW Future Panel, a survey of several thousand German enterprises, asked companies about the main reasons and driving forces of their growth. The single most important reason stated by highgrowth companies was that management actually targeted growth. Further reasons considered important were that “the company supplies to a growing market” and “successful introduction of new products or services”. Thus, company growth is apparently mainly the consequence of entrepreneurs actively taking advantage of business opportunities. From a business functional point of view, companies that successfully access resources, that have and use incentives determining their performance, and that successfully enter markets will innovate and grow. In particular, findings for the INNO-Grips study suggest that networks of certified high-growth coaches, facilitated access to venture capital, and facilitated internationalisation of marketing and sales

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may support high growth of companies. However, the number of studies about policies to support high-growth enterprises is still small. Research for the related INNO-Grips Policy Brief found hardly any focused analyses. Cost-benefit analyses of specific instruments or longitudinal studies with control groups of companies not receiving specific types of support would be required for adequate assessment of policies.

Canada/USA: There are no specific policies for grants to industry in either Canada or the USA that focus on high-growth SMEs. Typically in Canada and the USA, only 4-6% of all firms are gazelles; but among those firms that access venture capital, the proportion of gazelles was found to increase to 12%. Furthermore, when combined with certain government R&D assistance programs, this figure rises to more than 20%.

Examples of policies in support of high-growth enterprises

In Israel, the main relevant body is the Offce of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour. It operates no policy tools aimed explicitly or exclusively at high growth SMEs. However, a new programme (named “The Relative Advantageous”) will address the whole value chain of strongly growing sectors.

In Europe, policy attention to high-growth SMEs is intense at European Commission level, but limited in Member States. Related EU-wide programmes include Eurostars and the growth facilitator of the European Investment Fund. Targeted national policies for high growth SMEs were mainly found in the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland and Norway. Other countries with such policies include Estonia, France, Ireland, Netherlands, and Spain. Beyond Europe, relevant policies were found in Australia, the US, China, Singapore and South Korea. Case studies conducted for the INNO-Grips Policy Brief show how some countries support highgrowth SMEs, while others focus on general SME policies from which high-growth SMEs may also benefit. South Korea: In South Korea there have recently been noticeable changes in the direction of SME policies. The policy concept for SMEs has been directed towards competitive SMEs, and away from protection of the weak. Transforming traditional SMEs to high-growth SMEs is a new policy focus, in particular in the “inno-biz” and “Global Stars” programmes. It is still too early to assess the impacts of these programmes. Singapore: The government is seeking to diversify the country’s high-growth sectors. Two agencies are directly involved in supporting high-growth SMEs: SPRING collaborates with trade development agencies to assist promising local businesses with funding, management development, technology and innovation enhancement, and internationalisation. GET-Up supports long-term pre-competitive R&D. As there are no evaluation studies that could substantiate the impact of the government’s SME policy, lessons for Europe are difficult to draw.

Policy implications The INNO-Grips policy brief concludes that generic recommendations for specific policy instruments cannot be made at this point. “Unfortunately, there is still a lack of evaluation studies that could substantiate certain measures to support high-growth SMEs as being particularly effective or ineffective”, says study author Stefan Lilischkis. “However, our research found evidence that policy measures should rather be indirect – they should fertilise the ground for future high growth of SMEs, but not support SMEs that already perform high growth.

3. Policies for general SMEs and for highgrowth SMEs may coexist: Arguments from market failure theory and a theoretical welfare model assuming that both types of policy generate positive returns for society suggest that policies for general SMEs and for high-growth SMEs should co-exist. 4. No need to focus on specific industries: Since high-growth firms can be found in any industry and since business ecosystems, which are important for companies’ sustainability and growth, often cut across different industries, policies in support of high-growth SMEs should not necessarily target specific industries. 5. Broader approach to support high growth of SMEs: Policies in support of high growth of SMEs should take a comprehensive approach, not exclusively focusing on specific aspects (e.g. finance). 6. Creating the right framework conditions: There are ample examples of framework conditions unfavourable for high growth of SMEs. They may for example relate to investment regulation, start-up regulation, market entry barriers, labour law, bankruptcy law, taxation, and also to

” The policy brief suggests 10 points to be considered when taking decisions about such policies. The first five points apply to policy at the European, national or even regional level; point 6 applies mainly to national policy; points 7-10 concern European policy. 1. Policies in support of high-growth SMEs are worthwhile: Since there is empirical evidence of the importance of highgrowth SMEs for employment, it appears worthwhile to support enterprises of this type to leverage their positive impact on employment and growth. 2. Seeking sustainable (high) growth: As high growth can also lead to high failure, the policy objective should be to generate sustainable growth, and not to set incentives for simply growing or growing strongly.

Stefan Lilischkis //

„It may be tempting for policy to support high-growth SMEs directly. However, the best way to foster innovative ‘gazelles’ in Europe is probably by creating the right framework conditions for their growth; winners will then pick themselves”, recommends Dr Stefan Lilischkis from empirica, principal author of the INNO-Grips policy brief.

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SME policies that offer rewards for staying small. Hence, rather than trying to “pick winners”, policy makers should first of all create framework conditions that provide fertile ground for winners to pick themselves. Second, policies could be designed for “hampered winners”, i.e. those that would not grow substantially without support – see implications 7-9. 7. Specific roles of the European Commission: The Commission can take on specific roles in supporting high-growth SMEs. Its main role could be to drive the further expansion and improvement of the Single Market, e.g. for venture capital, rather than launching specific measures for highgrowth SMEs. 8. Enhance coaching opportunities: Qualified and certified coaching may help SMEs to grow, and cross the “chasm” between pilot markets and mass markets. Since many SMEs do not take advantage of coaching opportunities, an infrastructure to encourage the replication of existing

successful coaching networks throughout EU Member States could be set up. 9. Improve access to growth finance: Since access to finance is a problem for many growth-oriented SMEs in Europe, improving access to growth finance should be a priority for policymakers seeking to support high-growth SMEs. From a European perspective, this means e.g. to realise a single market for venture capital.

took advantage of any public support,” said serial entrepreneur Brian O’Connor at the INNO-Grips workshop on policies in support of high-growth SMEs in February 2011. “It would have been too expensive.” He argued that he would have had to spend too much time on administrative procedures (such as writing applications) in order to benefit, and he felt he should better spend that time with what ultimately makes a successful business: with customers.

10. Improve internationalisation opportunities: Since high growth requires tapping larger markets, and national markets may be too small, internationalisation of SMEs should be facilitated. This may include further work on creating single markets in Europe, as well as enhancing the Enterprise Europe Network.

further information The INNO-Grips policy brief on policies in support of high-growth innovative SMEs is available on the website:

Many policymakers may find it tempting to support high-growth SMEs directly. However, some entrepreneurs are sceptical about such interventions, even if it might get them some money. “I never

Contact person: Stefan Lilischkis, empirica GmbH (

Service innovations contribute to achieving social objectives. But policy is struggling to find effective ways of encouraging this kind of innovation

Services – A Stepchild of Innovation Policy? Innovation policy has long focused on manufacturing sectors, notably on high-tech industries. Traditional instruments, such as providing grants for R&D activities, are adapted to innovation processes in those industries. Service sectors, however, account for 70% of employment in Europe. How important is innovation for these sectors, and is there a need for specific service innovation policies? An INNO-Grips workshop in Budapest on 30 May 2011 addressed these issues (Ref. 1).

The challenges of adequately capturing service innovation DG Enterprise and Industry is committed to giving greater recognition to the economic importance of service sectors in economic and innovation policy. This is a challenging task, however, as innovation processes in services, and their outcomes, tend to be less tangible than

in manufacturing. Innovation in services is driven to a much lesser extent by RTD activities. Service innovation can have aspects of product, process and organisational innovation at the same time; the result is often an improved (e.g. more efficient) provision of services, rather than a tangible “invention”, such as a new product. This makes service innovation difficult to quantify and measure: it is not yet

adequately captured by the dominant current frameworks such as the Oslo Manual on innovation. The question becomes even more complex when considering that services innovation can be found in all sectors, both in services and in manufacturing; therefore, it seems necessary to address this challenge in a horizontal manner. It is probably for all these reasons that “policies in support of services innovation

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Centre), how to promote the creation of new business from service innovation, and how service innovation can be applied to meet social challenges. INNO-Grips workshop: experts debate the role of policy Reflecting the rising awareness and importance of the topic, INNO-Grips is also preparing a policy brief on service innovation. It focuses, in particular, on the role of the European Commission in promoting service innovation in Europe. The draft findings were presented to and discussed with about 30 innovation experts from policy and industry backgrounds, at a workshop in Budapest on 30 May 2011. The intensive debate at the workshop was proof of the complexity of the topic. have remained relatively underdeveloped in many Member States and regions”, as a Commission Staff Working Document (Ref. 2) about innovation in services concluded in 2009. However, the working paper noted an increasing interest in improving the understanding of service innovation; it also remarked that R&D in services was growing rapidly in most countries. The paper provides a policy rationale for better support to innovation in services, focusing on market and systemic failures.

Following up on the recommendations of the working paper, and to better understand the dynamics, drivers and barriers that affect service innovation, DG Enterprise and Industry assigned an Expert Panel to develop suggestions. The Panel presented its report (Ref. 3) in 2011. It makes recommendations on how to raise awareness of the “transformative potential of service innovation and its contribution to EU competitiveness” (for instance by developing a European Service Innovation

The participants broadly agreed on the “mission” that an innovative service sector was important for Europe: not only could it boost employment, but it could also help achieve the Europe 2020 objective of enabling smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However, the specific role of innovation policy in this context, and the assignments for it, are much less clear. The experts had many suggestions for the way forward.

Share of innovative enterprises (as a percentage of all enterprises, based on Community Innovation Survey 2008) 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10




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Non-technological innovation only

Technological innovation only

Technological and non-technological innovation

>> The chart shows the percentage of companies that have introduced new products, processes, marketing or organisation methods, among all companies in a country. Among the innovators, many have introduced technological as well as non-technological innovations.

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In his presentation, Olivér Kovács, research fellow at ICEG European Center and principal author of the INNO-Grips policy brief, suggested that the importance of service sectors and their innovative potential should be seen against the background of societal and environmental “macro-challenges” – such as climate and demographic changes. He recommended that policy should focus on creating the right framework conditions for an innovation culture in the widest sense: “Service innovation has a very heterogeneous nature, it happens in a very complex way and not just in service sectors. Hence, policy should focus on removing or at least reducing barriers and bottlenecks to innovation, rather than on establishing programmes for co-financing innovation activities of individual enterprises.” Brigitte Preissl, senior economist at the German National Library of Economics, and Editor-in-Chief of Intereconomics, took a somewhat different view, arguing for a “strategy change” in policy, with a new focus on practical support to entrepreneurs: “Given the long history of SME support in technology and innovation with little progress, it seems about time to change strategies. There is no need for more brochures, awareness workshops

and best-practice examples; instead, individual support that helps SMEs to address the practical problems of a concrete innovation or technology project should be offered. This could be realised by regionally located support bureaus that provide consultancy services for low-budget clients.” Dragos Pislaru, Executive Director of the Group of Applied Economics in Bucharest, stressed that policy should differentiate between various types of services, such as copyright-protected services or crafts, since “innovation” differs across sectors in terms of relevance and meaning. Professor Luis Rubalcaba from the University of Alcalá in Spain, presenting the results of a wide-ranging research project on service innovation, identified two main rationales for service-oriented innovation policies: market failure and cyclical issues. He established a link to the debt crisis, arguing that service innovation, if leading to productivity growth, can be a means to increase competitiveness and, ultimately, economic growth.

support of services is still a relatively new field, there is not yet much evidence of what works and what doesn’t – from, for instance - programme evaluations. Study author Olivér Kovács suggested that the Commission and Member States should make efforts to conduct evaluations of existing policy initiatives. This would help to make future policy design “more reflexive and calibrated”. The forthcoming INNOGrips policy brief is a modest step in that direction.

Better evidence needed One point of agreement among all participants was the need for more and better evidence of the impacts of different policies. Unfortunately, as innovation policy in

R e f e r e n c e s a n d f u r t h e r i n f o r m at i o n [1] Proceedings of the INNO-Grips workshop on policies in support of service innovation, Budapest, 30 May 2011. Available at the INNO-Grips website ( The policy brief on service innovation will be available on the website by October 2011. Contact person: Olivér Kovács, ICEG European Center ( [2] Challenges for EU support to innovation in services – Fostering new markets and jobs through innovation.Commission Staff Working Paper, SEC(2009) 1195, 09.09.2009. swd_services_en.pdf [3] Meeting the Challenge of Europe 2020. The Transformative Power of Service Innovation. Report by the Expert Panel on Service Innovation in the EU. FE-11601.pdf [4] Meeting the challenge of Europe 2020. The transformative power of service Innovation. Case studies. [5] Knowledge Intensive Services (KIS) in 2010. An extract from the Europe INNOVA Annual Report 2010.

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A statistical analysis of open innovation practices and their impact

Measuring Open Innovation – INNO-Grips Study Tackles a Challenging Task The idea of open innovation has attracted much attention in recent years. “Open” implies that companies and organisations increasingly make use of external sources in their innovation strategies, through formal and informal networking, and through cooperation and joint R&D activities with business partners and research organisations. While the idea is clear, the concept is difficult to capture and to measure empirically in quantitative terms. An INNO-Grips study led by NIFU STEP, Norway, has addressed this challenging task and is analysing open innovation practices on the basis of company level data. The interim findings were discussed at a workshop in Brussels on 19 May 2011. Study concept The INNO-Grips study on open innovation addresses two main issues: it explores the effects of open innovation practices on the innovation performance of companies, and analyses the determinants of open innovation. It covers manufacturing sectors and knowledge-intensive services. The economists are analysing firm-level survey data from 130,000 enterprises (obtained from national statistical institutes through Eurostat) with detailed information about their R&D activities. To capture “open innovation” statistically, they defined three dimensions of open innovation practices: (i) searching for information (tapping external sources in industry or science), (ii) collaboration with business partners, and (iii) sourcing of R&D, i.e. purchasing research services from external providers. The innovation performance is measured as the ability to commercialise the new products resulting from the innovation activity. Preliminary results An econometric analysis of the company data found that open innovation practices in the three dimensions jointly affect the innovation performance. In short, companies engaging in open innovation were

found to be more successful in marketing their innovations. In particular, the findings on the impact of collaboration on innovation performance were highly robust – it was significant for most of the countries and sectors analysed. When looking at the impact of specific dimensions isolated from each other, the results are more nuanced. Interestingly, external innovation expenditure (purchasing knowledge and outsourcing R&D activities) was found to have a negative impact on the innovation performance in most of the larger countries, but not in smaller ones. Further, the negative impact was most pronounced among large firms and in high-tech manufacturing. The study team also looked at the effects of IP protection strategies and found that patent protection contributed positively to innovation performance; the marginal effect was larger for small firms and lower for R&D intensive manufacturers, though. The analysis of determinants of open innovation found that larger firms tended to be more engaged in most open innovation practices, with the exception of the external innovation dimension. As might be expected, the overall intensity of a company’s innovation activities is closely correlated with its propensity to

open innovation; in simple terms, the more innovative a company is, the more likely it is to make use of open innovation as well. Openness, including international cooperation activities, was not at the expense of the national “embeddedness” of a company. “With this large-scale empirical study, combined with a thorough assessment of EU and national policies, we are able to show that open innovation increases companies’ innovation performance,” says Professor Dr. Bernd Ebersberger from the MCI Management Center Innsbruck. “We can also assess what types of policies foster firms’ implementation of such open innovation procedures. We are confident that the study will provide important information and insights for EU and national innovation policy makers”. Workshop discussion: concepts and policy implications In May 2011, an INNO-Grips workshop was held in Brussels to discuss the preliminary findings. The debate focused mainly on the conceptual framework for the study, and the policy implications of the results. The participants, including economists and innovation experts from other backgrounds, raised some concerns with

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regard to the definition of indicators for capturing open innovation. Ideally, in their view, the study would cover and analyse further potential dimensions and determinants of open innovation. However, the study team was restricted to the statistical data available from the Eurostat surveys, and defined the indicators on this basis. This requires, inevitably, a pragmatic approach, including the use of “proxies” for some complex constructs that cannot be directly measured. Notwithstanding the debate on details, the participants warmly welcomed this INNO-Grips study, which was seen as pioneering work in empirically capturing open innovation practices. Dr. Peter Svensson from VINNOVA, Stockholm, praised the study team for their research: “The researchers put hard work into a

very important subject which is still in an early stage – assessing policy implications of open innovation. Policy-makers need better evidence on open innovation, as it seems we are in the middle of a paradigm-shift from customer-centred to user-driven innovation processes. The INNO-Grips study has delivered new insights in this context. I think it will, in one way or another, influence policy-making in the EU.” A lively debate was triggered by the presentation of preliminary policy conclusions by Oliver Som from Fraunhofer ISI. He said that the mostly positive results on the impact of open innovation suggested that innovation policy should go beyond the traditional funding of R&D projects. In particular, he suggested strengthening international linkages of companies

and research organisations (outside the national innovation systems); this, he argued, was one of the most neglected aspects in many national innovation policies. Another recommendation was to encourage collaboration in non-high-tech sectors too, and to better balance the funding for different modes of innovation. In this context, Katja Reppel, Deputy Head of Unit “Policy Development and Industrial Innovation” at DG Enterprise and Industry, pointed to the efforts undertaken by DG Enterprise and Industry in this direction. She mentioned the “Lead Market Initiative” (LMI), the public procurement initiative and specific aspects of state aid regulation as important examples of how the Commission aims to encourage innovation – and open innovation.

R e f e r e n c e s a n d f u r t h e r i n f o r m at i o n

Further information about the INNO-Grips workshop on open innovation, Brussels, 19 May 2011, is available on the INNO-Grips website ( The full study will also be available on the website (by September 2011).

The INNO-Grips study was conducted by a consortium consisting of NIFU – Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education ( as lead partner, MCI Management Center Innsbruck (http://www.mci. edu/) and Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI ( Contact persons: Eric Iversen, NIFU STEP (, Bernd Ebersberger (

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Driving innovation through public procurement, fostering social innovation

New Innovation Policy Initiatives at the European Level The European Commission has launched new initiatives to drive innovation activities in the EU. A call for proposals provides incentives for public procurers to make joint purchases of innovative products and services; the goal is to create a critical mass of demand for new solutions addressing grand societal challenges. And the “Social Innovation Europe” initiative aims to create a focal point for social innovation activities in Europe.

Driving innovation through public procurement – new call for proposals Public procurement expenditures by public authorities account for approximately 17% of EU GDP. Bundling and steering these huge amounts to specific procurement objectives could create a critical mass of demand and thus, theoretically, give a decisive boost to innovative solutions to environmental and social challenges. How such demand-side concepts could

be implemented was discussed at a twoday conference on “Public Procurement of Innovation: Facing Societal Challenges, Delivering Better Public Services & Supporting SMEs to Innovate” in Turin on 27-28 June 2011 (Ref. 1). European Commission Vice President Tajani explained the rationale of the concept: “Cities, regions and Member States could not only save money, but help to boost emerging markets – if they intensified cooperation in purchasing innovative

goods. At the same time we could address societal challenges with massive purchasing power, such as climate change or the ageing society. But we do not need more money to get this; we simply need more common sense to turn a multitude of small purchases into a strong instrument which will benefit us all”. In order to encourage authorities to act as technologically demanding first buyers of innovations, the European Commission announced a call for proposals (Ref. 2).

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Proposals for projects can be submitted until 27 September 2011. The call has two objectives: First, to support the development of groups of buyers involved in grand societal challenges (such as climate change, energy and resource scarcity, active and healthy ageing, or sustainable agriculture). Second, and this is itself an innovation in Europe, these buyer groups will then be supported to implement co-ordinated or joint procurement of innovative solutions. The EU will co-finance the project activities with 20% (with a maximum of €500,000 per buyer group). The Social Innovation Europe initiative Boosting entrepreneurship in Europe is a top priority for DG Enterprise and Industry. In this context, the DG set up the “Social Innovation Europe” (SIE) initiative, which was announced in the “Innovation Union“ Communication and launched in March 2011. By 2014, SIE will become the main platform –virtual and real – for social innovators, entrepreneurs, non-profit organisations, policy makers and anyone else who is inspired by social innovation in Europe. The platform is designed to sustain Europe’s leading position in social innovation. Social innovation can be defined as “new ideas that work in meeting social goals”

(Ref. 3). This means a focus on the improvement of living conditions, such as longevity, material well-being, healthy family and community life, a functioning environment, freedom, security, stability and equality. It is increasingly recognised that social innovation will be necessary to address societal challenges. At the same time, social innovation has a clear business dimension, as it concerns some of the sectors with the highest growth potential. For example, health already represents a large share of GDP in most countries. The social economy in Europe employs 11 million people, which is 6% of the active population of the EU. Social innovation cuts across many sectors and policy domains. For that reason, DG Enterprise and Industry is working closely together with other DGs, in particular Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Internal Market, Research and Innovation, Regional Policy, and Digital Agenda. The Commission hopes that SIE can mobilise the same kind of cooperation in Member States, regions and cities, by sharing experiences. SIE wants to be more than a think tank. It is intended to provide practical support to social innovators - to help them in generating new products, services and working methods that create value for their organisations and society. It will also be a platform to showcase radically new ideas and to build new types of partnerships.

EUROPEAN DESIGN INNOVATION INITIATIVE A call for proposals for the first Action Plan of the European Design Innovation Initiative has been published. The design initiative, set up in 2011, aims to exploit the full potential of design for innovation and to reinforce the link between design, innovation and competitiveness. Proposals under this call shall contribute to speeding up the take up of design as a user-centred innovation tool in national, regional and EU innovation policies. The deadline for the submission of proposals is 10th October 2011. Details about the call for proposals are available online: enterprise/newsroom/cf/newsbytheme. cfm?lang=en&displayType=fo&tpa_ id=135

further i n f o r m at i o n Social Innovation Europe (online platform): http://www. Announcement of the launch of the Social Innovation Europe initiative by DG Enterprise and Industry: enterprise/policies/innovation/...

The SIE initiative aims to build and streamline the social innovation field in Europe. Besides hosting and maintaining the new SIE online platform as its main hub, SIE will conduct and publish a series of study reports and recommendations for action, and organise a series of events across Europe to bring social innovators together. The initiative and its platform have already attracted a community of high-calibre writers, commentators, analysts and thinkers.

References (1) (2) (3) Geoff Mulgan (2007): Social Innovation – What it is, why it matters and how it can be accelerated, p. 8. INNO-Grips NEWSLET TER July 2011


// International innovation policy news


New innovation strategies, policies and studies

International Innovation Policy News INNO-Grips monitors international developments in innovation policy. A network of correspondents from more than 30 countries worldwide reports regularly about the launch of new initiatives and other relevant events in their country. Their news reports are published on the INNO-Grips website (http:// This article features a selection of news from some of the countries covered. Austria The Austrian Government presented in March 2011 a new strategic framework for research, technology and innovation (RTI). The ambitious objective is to move up from an “innovation follower” to join the league of “innovation leaders” among the EU Member States. This goal refers to the EU’s “Innovation Scoreboard”, which currently ranks Austria among the “innovation followers”, while Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany are listed as “innovation leaders” in Europe. The new innovation strategy identifies key challenges to be addressed in five areas: human resources, risk capital, competition (framework conditions for encouraging innovation), governance and structural change. (Ref. 1) Canada The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity has released its Report on Canada 2011, entitled “Canada’s

innovation imperative”. As new governments take the helms federally and in several provinces this year, the Institute urges all Canadians to step up their innovation capabilities in order to achieve a long-term prosperity agenda. One of the recommendations of the report is that governments should shift the efforts of their innovation policies from fostering new-to-the-world inventions to relevant-to-the-market innovations. (Ref. 2) Canada’s innovation economy is at a critical juncture, and requires policymakers to choose what they want out of their science and technology (S&T) investments, according to a study by the Toronto Region Research Alliance. The study provides a comparative analysis of science and technology strategies in 10 countries, including the US, the UK, China, South Korea, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Israel and India, as well as various African initiatives. Each of the national strategies is examined through the lens of the basic

motivations behind the policies put in place. (Ref. 3) Denmark Denmark and China have agreed to expand their research cooperation into the field of basic ICT research. They will jointly establish three new research centres, with the goal of mutual benefit from complementary skills and knowledge. Since 2008, the Danish Basic Research Fund (Danmarks Grundforskningsfond) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) have already jointly established seven collaborative research centres. The Danish Basic Research Fund will spend about 45 million DKK (about €5.8 million) to establish the three new centres in the next three years. The total expenditures for all 10 research centres in the same period will be approximately 150 million DKK (€19.4 million).

References [1] „Der Weg zum Innovation Leader“ - Strategie der Bundesregierung für Forschung, Technologie und Innovation (March 2011). The new innovation strategy of the Austrian Government (PDF document, in German). ( service/publikationen/innovation/forschungspolitik/downloads/fti_strategie.pdf ) [2] “Canada’s Innovation Imperative”. Report on Canada 2011, released by the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity. ( ) [3] “The Race for Global Leadership in Innovation: An Analysis of National R&D Strategies” (requires registration). (

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// International innovation policy news

Germany The “Leading-Edge Cluster Competition” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has entered the final round. An independent jury nominated the eleven finalists in June 2011. The winning industry clusters will each receive funding of up to €80 million for their strategic development during a period of five years. 24 German clusters participated in the contest, a flag-ship project of the HighTech Strategy for Germany. (Ref. 4, Ref. 5) Hungary Hungarian research and innovation policy has been subject to substantial organisational changes this year as a result of new regulation, in particular Government Regulation 303/2010. (XII. 23.) which came into effect in January 2011. Three new institutions are to be established, replacing the former National Office for Research and Technology (NKTH) and the Research and Technology Innovation Fund (KTIA). The main new institutions will be the National Innovation Office (NIH), the National Research, Innovation and Science Policy Council (NKITT), and an innovation agency coordinated by the Ministry of National Development. Italy The Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research (MIUR) launched the new research plan for 2011-2013 in April 2011. A budget of €1.7 billion will be provided to support 14 flagship projects in innovative sectors, such as

nanotechnologies, aerospace and epigenomics. The projects will focus on developing sectoral technology platforms and infrastructure to support the respective value chains. The strategy is based on public-private partnerships, with special attention to the involvement of SMEs. (Ref. 6) The Ministry of Economy and Finance (Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze) introduced an experimental measure to encourage the participation of private business in public sector research: a tax credit for enterprises that sustain RTD projects carried out by universities and public RTD centres, equalling up to 90% of their R&D investments. The credit is limited, however, to the share of the company’s total R&D investments that exceeds the three-years average of its investments in the past 3 years (i.e. it will be applied only to additional investments). €55 million have been allocated for this measure for 2011. The Netherlands The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation has introduced a new policy strategy for promoting innovation, with the aim of becoming one of the five leading knowledge economies. An essential part of this strategy is to focus exclusively on nine economic sectors – the so-called “Top Sectors”. The Government has dedicated a budget of €1.5 billion to increase the competitiveness of these sectors. This approach can be seen as an unexpected break with the egalitarian Dutch tradition of non-discrimination


– other sectors will no longer receive any targeted support. (Ref. 7) Norway / Nordic countries The 2011 state budget reduced the funds of Innovation Norway, a governmental agency funding R&D and innovation activities, by about NOK 120 million (about €14 million). In response, Innovation Norway closed ICT as a prioritized domain for R&D funding; this cost-saving measure led to a controversial debate. Indirectly, however, ICT-related research will still be funded, but as part of R&D programmes targeting user industries (such as energy and health) rather than the ICT industry itself. The Nordic Council of Ministers has released a new study assessing the framework conditions for entrepreneurs in the Nordic countries. The study identifies access to finance, and knowledge creation and diffusion, as major Nordic strongholds, while entrepreneurial capabilities and culture still pose challenges. Nordic countries have a high number of business start-ups (they are on par with the USA in this regard). However, they encounter difficulties in fostering the growth of these firms. (Ref. 8) Poland The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development has published an extensive report on innovation activities of the Polish industry (“Innovation 2010”), based on data from the Polish Central Statistical Office and Eurostat. The report identifies some weaknesses in the national

References [4] Leading-Edge Cluster Competition of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ( [5] Press release of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research: “Elf Finalisten im dritten SpitzenclusterWettbewerb stehen fest” (22 June 2011) ( [6] Programma Nazionale della Ricerca 2011-2013 (National Research Plan). pnr_2011_2013/PNR_2011-2013_23_MAR_2011_web.pdf [7] Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie: Investeren in topsectoren. ( onderwerpen/ondernemersklimaat-en-innovatie/investeren-in-topsectoren/) [8] The Nordic Entrepreneurship Monitor report. ( publications/2010-748/)

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// International innovation policy news

innovation system and performance, for instance a lack of cooperation between the industry and research organisations (compared to the level of activity in other countries). The highest share of innovative enterprises (26%) was found in utilities. More information: (Ref. 9) Portugal The Portuguese Council of Ministers has approved the “Zero Fees For Innovation” decree (Taxa Zero para Inovação) in March 2011 to foster innovation activities of SMEs, and in particular companies of young entrepreneurs. Administrative fees for them are reduced for a period of two years, based on the conditions that the company, in the past three financial years, (i) has invested in R&D, (ii) maintained or increased the number of staff, and (iii) increased its turnover by more than 5%. (Ref. 10) The Portuguese regions of Alentejo and Lezíria do Tejo have announced major infrastructure measures to strengthen knowledge and technology transfer within the region. They have launched a programme for the creation of science parks and technology-based incubators. USA The Obama administration plans to commit USD 2 billion to encourage private sector investment in early-stage and potentially high-growth companies over

the next five years. Two new programmes, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), will use the operating infrastructure of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) programme to match private capital raised by investment funds to invest in promising businesses at no new cost to taxpayers. The USD 1 billion Impact Investment Fund will offer a 2:1 match to funds that invest in high-growth, high-tech companies in under-served communities. SBA’s USD 1 billion Early-Stage Innovation Fund will provide a 1:1 match to private capital raised by early stage and seed funds. (Ref. 11)


Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) fourth round of funding.

Further Information More news about international innovation policy developments are available at the INNO-Grips website at: http://www.proinno-europe. eu/innogrips/latest-news

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a five-year strategic plan for the agency, focused on education and research impact. Under the goals set out in the report, NSF would weigh intellectual merit and the broader impacts of research more heavily when evaluating research proposals. The agency also would increase its use of resources, such as the STAR METRICS project, that provide a clearer assessment of the impact of science investments. (Ref. 12) The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it intends to commit up to USD 130 million to support advanced research projects on rare earth alternatives and breakthroughs in biofuels, thermal storage, grid controls and solar power electronics. The new programme areas are supported through the Advanced

References [9] “Innovation 2010 Report: Small participation of Polish science in industrial innovation”, news release by pap - Science and Scholarship in Poland. ( PageID=1&s=szablon.depesza&dz=research_industry&dep=379929&data=&lang=EN&_CheckSum=-79569598) [10] Portuguese Government: “Taxa Zero para Inovação” ( MP/Documentos/Pages/20110310_MP_Doc_Taxa_Zero_Inovacao.aspx) [11] US Small Business Administration ( [12] NSF Strategic Plan for the Fiscal Years 2011-2016 (PDF document) (

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Renewed strategies, new programmes and evaluations

About INNO-Grips This newsletter is an INNO-Grips publication. INNO-Grips ( stands for “Global Review of Innovation Policy Studies”. It supports policy-makers in adopting appropriate responses to emerging innovation needs, trends and phenomena. It analyses framework conditions as well as barriers and drivers to innovation and innovation policy, and offers intelligence on international developments in these fields. INNO-Grips is part of the European Commission’s PRO INNO Europe portal (, a focal point for innovation policy analysis and cooperation. INNO-Grips has two strands of activity. One concentrates on innovation policy (this newsletter is part of this strand), the other conducts economic studies of framework conditions, barriers and drivers to innovation. The current implementation period (“INNO-Grips II”) runs until the end of 2012, in continuation of the activities of INNO-Grips I (2006-2010).

INNO-Grips policy briefs:  Innovation policy and the business cycle: innovation policy’s role in addressing economic downturn (  Policies in support of high-growth innovative SMEs (http://

 Open innovation and other new forms of collaboration (August 2011)  Social attitudes to innovation and entrepreneurship (forthcoming – 2011)  The role of multinational companies and supply chains in innovation (forthcoming – 2012)  The new nature of innovation (forthcoming – 2012)

 Policies in support of service innovation (September 2011)  The impact of regulation on disruptive innovation (forthcoming – 2011)  Policies promoting innovation in the public sector (forthcoming – 2012)  New trends in innovation policy (forthcoming – 2012)

INNO-Grips innovation studies:  Barriers to internationalisation and growth of EU’s innovative companies ( inno-grips-ii/newsroom/study-1-internationalisation)  Integrated innovation policy for an integrated problem: addressing climate change, resource scarcity and demographic change to 2030 (http://www.proinno-europe. eu/inno-grips-ii/newsroom/study-2-climate-change)

INNO-Grips workshops (recent / forthcoming): Policies in support of high-growth innovative SMEs (1st February 2011, Brussels) – proceedings available on INNO-Grips website. Open innovation and new forms of collaboration (19th May 2011, Brussels). Policies in support of service innovation (30th May 2011, Budapest - proceedings available on INNO-Grips website). Social attitudes to innovation and entrepreneurship (16th November 2011, Brussels); contact person: Tiitus van der Spek ( The impact of regulation on disruptive innovation (23rd November 2011, Brussels); contact person: Hannes Selhofer (

The INNO-Grips policy analysis and monitoring is carried out by empirica GmbH, Bonn ( and ICEG European Center, Budapest (, with support from Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln Consult GmbH, Cologne (, based on a service contract with the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry, running until the end of 2012.

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Policy News03 The INNO-Grips Newsletter

Imprint This INNO-Grips newsletter has been prepared by empirica Gesellschaft für Kommunikationsund Technologieforschung mbH, Oxfordstr. 2, 53111 Bonn, Germany, on behalf of the European Commission, Enterprise and Industry Directorate General. Editors: Hannes Selhofer (empirica); Peter O’Donnell Design and Layout: KITZ.KOMMUNIKATION GmbH Werbeagentur, Bonn © European Union, 2011. Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.


Innovation Policy News 03  

This INNO-Grips newsletter has been prepared by empirica Gesellschaft für Kommunikationsund Technologieforschung mbH, Oxfordstr. 2, 53111 Bo...

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