Regional Impact of Innovation: The Case of an H2020 Project in Central and Western Europe

Regional Impact of Innovation: The Case of an H2020 Project in Central and Western Europe

José R. Gutierrez
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2097-0.ch014
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Since the 1980s, a great deal of research has been carried out regarding endogenous economic growth. The focus has been specially put on the triangle of relationships among growth, territories, and innovation, and concepts as means of technological innovation have been extensively studied. In this context, this chapter does not pursue to enhance theoretical knowledge on this topic, but, on the contrary, it intends to remark conclusions previously reached by contrasting them with the implementation of a specific innovation policy program. To achieve this objective, an analysis is made of the European Union programme to foster R&D called Horizon 2020 (H2020). Also, it shows the case of an H2020 Project from the 2015 call, applying an impact assessment analysis.
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Impact of any kind of innovation on local environment, and furthermore by its spill-over capability, has been long studied along past years, especially those related to the new interest for location and cluster economies. However, case studies about it are less frequent, and hardly anyone which uses as research tool the Impact Assessment Methodology. This is indeed the aim pursued by this paper, such as to show the impact of innovation carried out by 50 companies funded by the European Commission under program H2020 (Horizon 2020), as a way of contrasting regional impact of innovation stated by some former theory models and frameworks.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Regional Impact of Innovation: Regards to the local impact of innovation on the whole stakeholders in a territory, considering innovation’s feature of disseminating knowledge and positive externalities in the form of spillovers.

Impact Assessment: Provides information about the performance of a specific program and if it is reaching or has reached the desired results. In essence, an impact evaluation measures the changes that can be attributed to the program. Moreover, here, the main challenge is to identify the causal relationship between the program and the results of interest.

Innovation: Refers to the generation of new products and also new services, business models and entrance in new markets, which let the delivery of better solutions to customers, meeting new requirements, unarticulated needs or existing market needs. Such wide innovation concept takes place through the provision of more-effective products, processes, services, technologies or business models that are made available to markets, governments and society. Innovation should be therefore something original and more effective and, depending on its disruption level, something new that “breaks into” the market or society.

Endogenous Growth Theory: Refers to an economic theory developed during the 1980s and 1990s which holds that economic growth is primarily the result of endogenous and not external forces, so that investment in human capital, innovation, and knowledge are significant contributors to economic growth. The theory also focuses on positive externalities and spill-overs effects of a knowledge-based economy, which will lead to economic development.

Cluster of Companies: The term, also known as an Industry Cluster, Competitive Cluster, or Porterian Cluster, was introduced and popularized by Michael Porter (1990) AU19: The in-text citation "Michael Porter (1990)" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. . The importance of Economic Geography, or more correctly Geographical Economics, was also brought to attention by Paul Krugman (1991) . Clusters development has since become a focus for many government programs, such as H2020 program. The underlying concept, which economists have referred to as Agglomeration Economies, dates back to 1890 and the work of Alfred Marshall in his Principles.

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