The Effects of Innovation Policy on Science-to-Business Collaboration: The Case of Serbia

The Effects of Innovation Policy on Science-to-Business Collaboration: The Case of Serbia

Isidora Avram Beraha, Sonja Obrad Đuričin
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8665-5.ch004
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The growing complexity of innovation has led to transition to an open innovation approach. Achieving sustainable economic growth based on knowledge and innovation depends on the efficiency and intensity of interactions between the government, business sector, and academia. Searching for ways to improve the innovation performance of small and medium-sized enterprises is high on the agendas of policy makers in developed and even more in developing countries. Through innovation policy, a favorable environment and stimulating system is created in which innovation activities are realized, information and knowledge are flowed, and cooperation between different actors is established. Academia plays a key role in the open innovation approach and is perhaps the most important partner for small and medium-sized enterprises. The subject of the research is the effects of innovation policy support on science to business collaboration in Serbia, with additional emphasis on the national innovation system and innovation performance of Serbia.
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Along with the unambiguity about the contribution of innovation to economic growth, the concept of open innovation is gaining in importance. The increasing adoption of more open approaches to innovation emerged because of the firms’ aspirations to take advantage of collective creativity through open innovation (Chesbrough & Appleyard, 2007). The growing interest in finding new ways of knowledge generation has emerged given that it is the main source of innovation. The search for new sources of knowledge for innovation has removed the barriers to collaboration which is an alternative to the traditional closed perspective of research and development (R&D) (Avalos-Quispe &Hernandez-Simon, 2019). The open innovation concept is based on the use of both internal and external resources to implement innovation activities. According to Chesbrough (2003), open innovation refers to the combination of internal and external knowledge for the creation and commercialization of new products and services. The focus is on the collaboration between various actors in the innovation system. Open innovation allows firms to improve their innovation success by using internal and external ideas, internal and external paths to market, and inflows and outflows of knowledge (Bogers et al., 2018), and enables academia to apply and commercialize the results of conducted R&D activities more efficiently. Achieving sustainable economic growth based on knowledge and innovation depends on the efficiency and intensity of interactions between the three main groups of actors i.e., government, business sector, and academia which is also at the core of the triple helix model of innovation.

In an increasingly competitive market, the success and growth of enterprises are affected by the ability to use both internal and external ideas through collaboration (Suh & Kim, 2012). Establishing a collaborative relationship between the actors in the triple helix model aims at the free flow of knowledge and information. This assumes abandoning the traditional practice in which companies were closed in their innovation processes. Innovation requires much more than the capacity to turn new ideas into commercial products. For innovation activity, it is necessary to provide material resources, appropriate business skills, an adequate intellectual property protection system, and a culture of entrepreneurship. Alexander et al. (2015) emphasize that universities and public research organizations are possible partners for organizations that tend to either partially or entirely replace their traditional roles of in-house R&D functions. Focusing only on internal R&D and the development of internal capabilities and routines is no longer sufficient to cope with increasing costs, shorter product life cycles, and greater technological complexities (Berchicci, 2013). Gaining a competitive advantage in a globalized business environment requires the use of external sources of knowledge. The main role of open innovation is the use of external resources through collaboration. As stated by Suh & Kim (2012), it can be achieved through technology acquisition and transfer, R&D collaboration, joint venture activity, and networking. Open innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is of particular interest as they often lack the resources to implement the innovation process internally. Despite limited capacities, SMEs continue to use the closed model of innovation i.e., rely on internal sources of knowledge to develop new products and services (Santoro, et al., 2018) which is partly due to a lack of capacity to leverage key networks (Ortega-Argilés, et al., 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Innovation: A new or significantly improved product, process or service (includes significant improvements in technical characteristics, components and materials, firmware, user orientation or other functional characteristics), marketing methods or new organizational methods in business.

Triple Helix Model of Innovation: A set of interactions between government, academia, and business sector to promote economic and social development.

Innovation Policy: A government intervention including measures, programs, incentives, and other instruments aimed at supporting the creation and diffusion of innovations.

Innovation Performance of a Country: A series of indicators in areas that are relevant to innovation, such as the national system, investments in R&D, cooperation between participants in the innovation system, human resources, etc.

National Innovation System: A framework in which innovation activities are realized within an economy. It includes legislation, interactions and relations between various actors, innovation policy measures and all other factors that directly or indirectly affect the circumstances in which the innovation is realized.

Evaluation of Innovation Policy: An analysis and assessment of efficiency, effectiveness and impact achieved by a particular policy measure.

Open Innovation Concept: The use of external resources to implement innovation activities.

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