Innovation Policy and Performance

A Cross-Country Comparison

image of Innovation Policy and Performance

This publication examines the relationship between innovation policy and economic performance in six OECD countries – Austria, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  In-depth analyses highlight countries’ strengths and weaknesses in innovation, as well as the effectiveness of their innovation policies in driving economic performance.  Taken together, the country studies constitute a rich evidence base which will be of considerable interest to innovation policy makers in all OECD countries.  They indicate that countries share a need to adapt – or even profoundly change – their innovation policies in order to deal with opportunities and threats posed by new technological and economic developments.




Since the mid-1990s, Finnish science, technology and innovation (STI) policies have received wide attention across the world. The country’s national innovation system is seen as highly efficient in numerous recent international evaluations, and the “Finnish model” has been taken as a benchmark in many countries. One might ask how it was possible for Finland, while being limited in its human and capital resources, to become a high-tech economy with world-class STI policies so suddenly. However, looking at the evolution of the STI regime in Finland it becomes obvious that the success story did not evolve that quickly. One could argue that the case is actually the opposite.


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