The summary report of the conference is available here
Financing R&D and innovation for corporate growth in the EU: Strategies, drivers and barriers
The JRC has organised its fourth bi-annual European Conference on Corporate R&D and Innovation (CONCORDi) on 26-27 September in Seville, Spain. This year's theme on 'Financing R&D and innovation for firms' growth', included financial sources and company growth strategies and the role of public policies as main topics.
Over one hundred and fifty international experts addressed questions such as how financial constraints influence innovation, how they impact companies' growth and competitiveness and what the related main obstacles are. The empirical evidence presented at the conference, while confirming the existence of a relation between financial constraints and the growth of innovative companies, contained novel interesting conclusions bearing relevant policy implications.
First, evidence shows that the interaction between financial constraints and innovation is bi-directional, so firms' successful innovative activities can entail in turn higher financial barriers. Second, financial constraints come along with other important external barriers, providing evidence of important demand-side problems which policies need also to address. Concerning the assessment of policy interventions, results confirm the positive impact of measures such as tax credits and subsidies. However, the great heterogeneity of companies and framework conditions across countries and regions, call for much more systematic and comprehensive policy analysis and monitoring of instruments, as well as proper indicators. One salient conclusion of the conference has been the call from both scientists and policy makers to establish a stronger network of R&D and innovation policy evaluators, to support the proper implementation of the up-coming European financial support instruments agreed for the period 2014-2020.
In addition to the 20 papers presented and discussed at CONCORDi-2013, there were keynote addresses by Mariana Mazzucato, RM Phillips Professor in Science and Technology Policy at the University of Sussex (United Kingdom) and Alexander Popov, Economist at the European Central Bank.
Every other year CONCORDI brings together international leading scientists and experts to present the state-of-the-art on selected policy relevant topics related to industrial research and innovation.
Best Paper Award
The CONCORDi-2013 Scientific Committee granted also the CONCORDi-2013 Best Paper Award to the best selected work presented at the Conference: "Dynamic financial constraints and innovation: Evidence from the UK innovation surveys", authored by Henry Lahr and Andrea Mina (University of Cambridge, UK).
The paper has been prized for the originality, the scientific rigor and the policy relevance with which the authors deal with the complex relationship between the firm's financial constraints and its innovation.
As the main result of the paper, the financial constraints experienced by the firms analysed do not seem dampen their R&D and innovation, while R&D activities and innovation, especially product and new-to-market ones, both make the firm more financially constrained. The attention of policy makers is drawn to the financial constraints that persist and gets even intensified when the firm innovates and enters the stage of its innovation diffusion. The policy support to this first stage is at least as important as that to innovation as such, especially with respect to SMEs, which often miss the capabilities to fully exploit their innovative outcomes.
The prize was announced and granted by Prof Bronwyn Hall (member of the Scientific Committee) during the social event of the Conference in the afternoon of the 26th September 2013.