Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs through Innovation
Theme: “Improved national performance in today’s global economy”
- What are the policy obstacles to innovation by SMEs?
- What can governments do to promote innovation by SMEs?
Issues for Discussion
- What are the best ways to stimulate the development of venture capital, including business angels’ financing and seed capital? Is financial support to R&D and innovation (through tax incentives or grants) efficient for all types of SMEs, including micro firms? If not, what other measures are warranted to correct market failures that affect the financing of investment in innovation, including in training and organisational change? Is there a role for large firms in financing innovation in smaller enterprises?
- The availability to enterprises of relevant information (technical, commercial, etc.) is essential to successful innovation. SMEs often have problems in finding information. What should governments be doing to support information programmes?
- Do government–supported national, regional and local technology diffusion programmes work? To what extent are such programmes adapted to the specific needs and characteristics of SMEs?
- What barriers impair SMEs’ participation in existing innovation networks? Is there a need for government action to promote the internationalisation of existing national or regional innovation networks? How can the linkages between SMEs and the public research sector be improved? How can governments better support the diffusion of technology between technical universities (and highschools) and SMEs?
- How can governments raise awareness in SMEs that innovation is crucial to survival in a globalised world?
- What role should business organisations play in the stimulation of innovation, (awareness programmes, information and training, diffusion programmes etc.)?