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Innovation policies and their evaluation Some lessons from the Tuscan experience Marco Mariani (IRPET – Tuscany’s Regional Institute for Economic Planning)

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Presentation on theme: "Innovation policies and their evaluation Some lessons from the Tuscan experience Marco Mariani (IRPET – Tuscany’s Regional Institute for Economic Planning)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovation policies and their evaluation Some lessons from the Tuscan experience Marco Mariani (IRPET – Tuscany’s Regional Institute for Economic Planning) SEE PROJECT - THEMATIC WORKSHOP 3: Evaluating design and innovation policies Florence, 10-11 May 2010

2 Two different approaches to innovation Two different conceptions of innovation policies Different evaluation objectives and tools Viewpoints on innovation policies and their evaluation

3 The rationale of support policies Approach A: innovation process at firm level  market failure because of insufficient individual incentives to R&D  public support to single enterprises (e.g. firm subsidies, tax benefits) Approach B: innovation resulting from webs of relationships  systemic failures  public support to networking and university-industry linkages (e.g. support to joint network projects)

4 Consequent evaluation goals and methodology Approach A: has the firm performed additional R&D, has it become more innovative or competitive solely because of public incentives? Methodology: the performance of the aided enterprise is compared to that of a non-aided “twin”, according to a counterfactual, quasi- experimental paradigm (e.g. differences in differences; matching) Approach B: has a network of new innovation-generative relationships come into being, as a result of public support? And is this network able to make firms more competitive? Methodology: networks elicited by policies are analysed in their structure and performance by means of social network analysis tools; then they are compared to pre-existing networks (if any)

5 Tuscan examples of Approach A Theory: mainstream micro-economic theory Main goals: impact of public aid on innovation (R&D expenses, patents, etc.), sales, productivity, # employees, labour cost, mark-up/pricing power… Methods: propensity-score matching Irpet Eval. Group (2010) 2 regional programmes 2000-2006: ongoing project Mattei and Mauro (2007) Specific regional programme for SMEs 2000-2006: 266 treated, 721 non-treated Merito et al (2010) National programme- Special fund for applied research 1998-2004: 185 treated, 925 non-treated

6 Approach A: Evaluation questions (Q) and results (R) Q: Has the programme had any impact on the expansion of sales and number of employees of beneficiary enterprises? R: YES. The increase in the number of employees occurs in the long run (M et al) The impact on sales and employees is stronger for enterprises that benefited of repayable loans; weaker for enterprises that benefited of non-repayable subsidies (M&M). Q: Has the programme had any impact on the amount of skilled labour? R: YES in the short run, and in particular for SMEs (M et al) Q: Has the programme had any impact on the labour productivity of beneficiary enterprises? R: NO (M et al) Q: Has the programme had any impact on the patenting activity of beneficiary enterprises? R: Scarcely, and only in the short run. The policy has probably displaced existing R&D investments, instead of stimulating new ones (M et al)

7 Tuscan examples of Approach B Theory: micro-foundations of innovative systems; agent-based perspective to innovation processes Main goals: identification of emergent structures; contribution to the formation of innovation clusters Methods: Social network analysis tools Bellandi and Caloffi (2010) All network programmes 2000-2006: 122 projects, 908 agents Russo and Rossi (2009) RPIA 2002-2004: 36/14 projects, 409/203 agents Caloffi and Mariani (2010) All network programmes 2000-2006 on advanced mechanics: 30 projects, 289 agents The programme’s basic idea: networks are conductive of innovation, especially those involving heterogeneous agents (SMEs, universities, service providers) Broad sectoral-technological focus (no explicit focus on design activities)

8 Approach B: Evaluation questions (Q) and results (R) Q: To what extent has the programme supported pre-existing networks of relationships or mobilized new ones? R: YES in advanced mechanics, optronics, medical devices (R&R, B&C, C&M); NO in biotech and traditional sectors (B&C) Q: Has the programme succeeded in promoting the creation of well-performing (turnover, patents…) networks capable of integrating heterogeneous competencies and to foster systemic effects in the regional economy? R: YES, but in limited technological areas (R&R; B&C) Q: What are the features of the emergent network structure resulting from the policy interventions? R: Some desirable agents and links are often missing (R&R, B&C; C&M) Q: Has the policy been able to mobilize a wide range of co-localised competencies and to favour the formation of an innovation cluster? R: To a very limited extent (C&M)

9 Lines for future research How can existing methodologies for the evaluation of micro/meso-impact be re- thought o re-adapted in the case of public policies promoting design?

10 Some references on the Tuscan/Italian case Bellandi, M., Caloffi, A. (2010), “An analysis of regional policies promoting networks for innovation”, European Planning Studies, 18(1), pp. 67-82. Irpet Evaluation Group- Bonaccorsi A., Brancati R., Mariani M., Mealli F., Trivellato U. (2010), “L’impatto degli incentivi regionali alla R&S. Il caso della Toscana”, in progress- forthcoming. Bondonio D., Martini A. (2001), “Using Event History Analysis to Evaluate the Impact of Investment Subsidies Targeted to Youth-Owned Firms”, Atti del convegno SIS 2001 “Processi e metodi statistici di valutazione”, Roma Tor Vergata, giugno, pp. 277-282. Caloffi A., Mariani M. (2010), “Designing policy support to innovation clusters. An overlapping network approach”, paper submitted for presentation to the EUNIP Conference 2010, Faculty of Economics, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, 9-11 June. Mattei A., Mauro V. (2007), “Analisi e valutazione delle politiche di sostegno alle imprese artigiane in Toscana”, IRPET, febbraio. Russo, M., Rossi, F. (2009), “Cooperation partnerships and innovation. A complex systems perspective to the design, management and evaluation of a EU regional innovation policy programme”, Evaluation, 15(1), pp. 75-100. Merito M., Giannangeli S., Bonaccorsi A., (2010), “Do Incentives to Industrial R&D Enhance Research Productivity and Firm Growth? Evidence from the Italian Case”, International Journal of Technology Management, 49(1-3), pp. 25-48.


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