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.



United Kingdom

A wide variety of factors influence the innovation performance of an economy. During the UK’s recent Innovation Review the following were identified as being some of the most important:

• Macro-economic performance. A past history of macro-economic instability can affect incentives to innovate through the uncertainty it creates and the impact this has on company financing decisions. Access to finance is important. The risky nature of innovation and the – often – heavy initial investment required to bring a project to fruition suggests that issues of finance are likely to particularly crucial for successful innovation (Arrow, 1962).


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