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Moreover it is important to remember that innovative

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Moreover, it is important to remember that innovative clusters can (and often will)benefit from the presence of knowledge-producing institutions (such as universities,research institutes, technological firms, etc.) and bridging institutions (e.g. publicoffices intended to implement connections and collaborations between firms andresearch centres).20) A relevant document (exploited in the present chapter) on clustering of innovative SMEs is the OECD Conferencereport “NETWORKS, PARTNERSHIPS, CLUSTERS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: OPPORTUNITIES ANDCHALLENGES FOR INNOVATIVE SMEs IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY”, available at .pdf (link visited May 2016)
THEINNOVATION GUIDE27THEINNOVATION GUIDE26Here we should note that states and their respective governments (both local andnational) have a relevant role to play in helping SMEs innovate. Indeed, it is theirpublic duty to devise and implement policies aimed at helping SMEs grow andinnovate, thereby contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Various typesof policies can be envisaged for this purpose. Institutions can, for example, supportresearch in cutting-edge sectors which are more likely to foster radical innovation.However, in doing so, issues of appropriability may arise. A solution might perhaps befound in fostering collaboration only between SMEs which jointly work together orsubcontract research and share the results.Another often overlooked means for fostering innovation in SMEs is to offergovernmental subsidies or allow for tax credits to aid in their acquisition of hi-techequipment for production or R&D activities aimed at creating exploitable innovation.Finally, we must consider the relevant role played by infrastructural policies. Thatis, policies which establish infrastructures necessary for the transfer of technology,and the cooperation between firms, research centres and collective economicorganizations. In order to support SMEs, it is essential that governments establish and/or enhance these infrastructures. Governments must be proactive in implementinginitiatives that: promote collaboration among SMEs (in particular, those with a highdegree R&D intensity); increase their collaboration with public research bodies; helpSMEs network, enter global innovation networks and create new ones.A relevant example of such a programme is “SBIR” which been in effect in the UnitedStates of America since the 1980s. Through contracts and grants, the programmefinances the exploration and development of new technologies and their delivery tothe market.Summing up, SMEs possess a high innovative potential mainly primarily due to theirdimensions, their scale, their dynamism and their ability to rapidly adapt. Networkingand collaboration are of the utmost importance for them, and they should furtherexpand their usage of non-technological innovation in order to grow.

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Term
Spring
Professor
Maria
Tags
Joseph Alois Schumpeter

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