Innovation Policies for Inclusive Growth

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22 May 2015
9789264237025 (EPUB) ; 9789264229488 (PDF) ;9789264229419(print)

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This report looks at a variety of inclusive innovation initiatives and innovative products aimed at improving the welfare of lower-income and excluded groups, notably in terms of essential public services (education, infrastructure and health). It discusses the policy trade-offs between traditional innovation policies and a more inclusive innovation approach, and provides recommendations for aligning current policies. It also deals with the impacts of innovation and innovation policies on industrial and territorial inclusiveness, describing how information and communication technology (ICT) and technology diffusion may influence smaller firms’ chances of succeeding with their innovations.

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  • Executive summary

    Policy makers are confronted with the challenge of boosting economic growth while ensuring that gains remain socially inclusive. Innovation is a driver of income growth and can help address poverty and directly improve well-being of different groups in society. Under certain conditions the gains from innovation benefit everybody in society; in other cases on the contrary, they might reinforce social exclusion.

  • Scaling up inclusive innovations

    This chapter reviews the possible contributions of inclusive innovation, i.e. innovations that support the welfare and entrepreneurship opportunities of lower-income and excluded groups. It describes how several trends, ranging from the widespread uptake of mobile telephony to growing business interest in inclusive innovations, have created more favourable conditions for inclusive innovation. It explores the obstacles and market failures facing inclusive innovations across four dimensions: 1) the types and costs of inclusive innovations; 2) information about consumer needs; 3) access to expertise, knowledge and finance; and 4) market access conditions. Based on this description, it provides an overview of factors that facilitate scaling up inclusive innovations.

  • Inclusive innovations in education

    This chapter provides an overview of inclusive innovations in education, with findings from the OECD Centre for Education Research and Innovation (CERI) survey on the topic. It characterises different types of inclusive innovations in education. It describes the rationales and challenges facing them and discusses examples of successful scaling. Strong not-for-profit funding in this sector, combined with important contributions by local organisations, makes reaching financial sustainability and scale less important in this area than in others.

  • Policies in support of inclusive innovation

    The chapter discusses innovation policy approaches to support inclusive innovation, focusing on policy examples from China, Colombia, India, Indonesia and South Africa. It reviews the rationale for public support for inclusive innovations and outlines the adjustments required for policies to incorporate related obstacles. It then discusses co-operation challenges at the government level and beyond, providing examples of cases where they have been successfully addressed. It follows by examining how policy instruments can support inclusive innovations, notably through opportunities for accessing finance, knowledge and expertise. Finally, it highlights possible ways to improve financial opportunities for inclusive innovation, particularly through regulatory frameworks ensuring consumer safety without hindering private firms from providing health and education services.

  • The search for excellence and the democratisation of innovation

    The chapter focuses on the role of innovation as a driver of growth and its contributions to inclusive growth. It discusses industrial and territorial inclusiveness, i.e. the proximity of innovation capacities across firms, sectors, regions, universities and public research institutes within countries. It goes on to describe how information and communication technology may support another trend – the "democratisation of innovation" – by increasing smaller firms’ chances of succeeding with their innovations. It also discusses how new opportunities for "trickle-down" dynamics can improve industrial and territorial inclusiveness. It shows how policies may inadvertently lead to less industrial inclusiveness. It concludes by raising questions for future research.

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