Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

Behavioural Additionality in the Context of Regional Innovation Policy in Spain

Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

Behavioural Additionality in the Context of Regional Innovation Policy in Spain

Article excerpt

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In the last two decades of R&D, government agencies have actively promoted technological collaboration as part of their initiatives designed to diffuse and transfer knowledge among economic agents (Tödtling & Trippl 2005; Autio et al. 2008). In line with this objective, there is an allocation of an increasing amount of public funding to the development of projects conducted by consortia and technological partnerships, thereby positioning cooperative activity at the core of innovation policy (Fier et al. 2006; Czarnitzki et al. 2007; Busom & Fernández-Ribas 2008). Consequently, an increase in the quality and the quantity of cooperation to enhance the production of scientifi c knowledge now becomes a priority policy objective (Hyvärynen & Rautiainen 2007).

In the traditional framework of innovation policy, the justifi cation for public intervention in R&D aligns with the correction of market failures which hamper full appropiability and initiate sub-optimal investments in R&D (Nelson 1959; Arrow 1962). Therefore, studies on impact evaluation of subsidies are mainly focused on the analysis of whether R&D subsidies provide enough incentives to increase private investments in R&D or innovative output. Lesser attention is paid to the impact of R&D subsidy programmes on cooperative behaviour and organisational learning, or on the cognitive aspects of the fi rm which are more related with the literature on behavioural additionality or second-order effects (Autio et al. 2008; Clarysse et al. 2009).

Behavioural additionality emerges as a complementary concept developed from an understanding that R&D subsidy programmes can help a fi rm acquire new attitudes, skills and capabilities (Buisseret et al. 1995). This perspective tries to capture changes in a fi rm's behaviour in the shortand long-term as a result of policy intervention. Different types of additionalities are used to refl ect these changes: project, scale, scope, acceleration, network, follow-up and management additionality (Falk 2007; Clarysse et al. 2009). In order to detect and obtain measures of behavioural additionality, Georghiou and Clarysse (2006: 19) suggest knowledge acquisition as a possible dimension to identify the effects of government funding on fi rm strategy, arguing that 'innovation policies founded in the system's perspective place a heavy focus on the formation and promotion of the resulting networks, and hence this is a fertile area in which to look for behavioural additionality'.

In line with this perspective, the purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of public funds on partnership agreements, and to explain how public funds infl uence the cooperative behaviour of fi rms. In addition, a multi-level or multi scalar framework in government intervention is considered in order to compare policy implementation at national and sub-national levels.

Diversity in R&D partnerships and participation of multiple levels of government in innovation policy require an evaluation of public policy in order to understand and identify the impact of technological programmes on the cooperative behaviour of the fi rms. Empirical data are necessary to explore the complex interactions between public agencies and the effects of its policies on fi rms' strategies.

A quasi-experimental approach is proposed in order to analyse the impact of R&D subsidies on two types of cooperative agreements. One type is cooperation between fi rms and universities or technological centres, and the other is cooperation with suppliers and customers or vertical cooperation.

Organisation of this paper is as follows: section 2 presents the literature review, section 3 describes the data and methodology used, section 4 shows the empirical results; and section 5 present main conclusions.


Evidence on behavioural additionality

Input additionality, conceived as the increase in the private R&D expenditure in response to public R&D subsidies, has constituted the bulk of most empirical studies that evaluate innovation policy. …

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