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Long-term Research and Innovation Policies for Sustainable Growth. Luc Soete UNU-MERIT. Regions for Economic Change – Building Sustainable Growth, 20-21 May 2010, Brussels. Outline. Cohesion Policy Contribution to Smart Growth from the perspective of a Knowledge and Innovation based economy.
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Regions for Economic Change – Building Sustainable Growth, 20-21 May 2010, Brussels
Investing in R&D and innovation: from Barcelona to EU 2020 and back…
Given the likely long term fiscal pressures on Member States’ budgets in the years to come, it is crucial to stress today the particular responsibility of public sector in Europe to support research and innovation. The intervention of nation states in preventing the collapse of their financial system might be described as a “socialisation of debt”. In the coming years of fiscal austerity, it will be important to stress the need for a process of “socialisation of knowledge”. The core responsibility of the public sector in providing support for knowledge level and investment in close interaction with the private sector.
Hence the proposal for a new 3% knowledge investment target: with clear policy advantages over the Barcelona 3% target. It focuses on what governments are directly responsible for: whether in terms of funding or setting funding rules such as in the case of tuition fees with respect to higher education. Target thus offers credibility. All MS are being challenged to either find own public resources to increase such knowledge investments, alternatively to call upon private resources to invest in individual’s future human capital..
Private R&D investments, innovations however measured, are outcome variables: they need to be monitored as performance variables but have limited meaning as policy targets. In the worst case they lead to beggar-thy-neighbour policies attempting to attract such investments in one country/region at the expense of another.