What innovation policy mix does matter for which countries? Patterns emerging from multidimensional analyses on STIP Compass platform

Margherita Russo* and Pasquale Pavone
Rev. 25th October 2019
* Department of Economics Marco Biagi and CAPP – Research Centre for the Analysis of Public Policies, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, margherita.russo@unimore.it
   CAPP – Research Centre for the Analysis of Public Policies, Modena and Reggio Emilia University, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, pasquale.pavone@santannapisa.it

DEMB WP Series #159

Extended abstract

An increasing consensus is shared among scholars on the relevance of policy mix in supporting innovation processes: a variety of tailored policy instruments are needed to target the diverse goals and beneficiaries of the public intervention, which are supported by different governance. Their implementation might be straightforward (as in the case of tax incentives) or very complex (when holistic changes are addressed to enhance ecosystems creation). The impact of individual instruments and of their combined mix is difficult to assess because of many interactions occurring in their enactment. Case studies have highlighted that those interactions not always produce a reinforced effect and policy management may become a critical issue per se. When addressed through counterfactual analysis, significant hints highlight the potential of a more informed design of the policy, so far largely determined by path dependence of policy processes and imitation across countries. In general, the comparative analysis is challenged by the lack of adequate information. To fill this gap, an essential support for innovation policies is the reference to a comparative framework, across countries and different policy tools, provided by the STIP Compass. As a joint initiative of the European Commission and OECD, STIP Compass is the portal that hosts and provides access to the EC/OECD international database on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP). Publicly available online, STIP Compass collects quantitative and qualitative data on countries’ STI policies, freely accessible following the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable). At present, the STIP Compass contains taxonomies of policies, databases, monitoring tools, and links between various data sources, and it is expected that both the OECD and the European Commission will refer to the Compass for information on policies in support of innovation.

The paper refers to the STIP Compass database downloaded on 24th August 2019.

It is the first systematic analysis aiming at identifying patterns of mix of innovation policies implemented by the 59 territorial entities (the OECD member countries, three subnational entities and some other non-OECD member countries) that have so far entered information in the online database. The paper addresses two research questions: the first one concerns the way to single out a pattern of policy mix that can be observed by analysing innovation policies. The second one specifically focuses on the dimensions in the narratives adopted to describe the current policy issues. By using a multidimensional analysis, three main patterns emerge, characterised by a mix of policy instruments, target groups and theme areas. The results pave the way to a more in depth comparative analysis of the specific policy initiatives undertaken by countries that show a similar pattern of interventions.

One urgent message is drawn from the analysis undertaken in this paper: the need of a radical shift in the European Commission, which is now supporting the STIP Compass only for the information on the national policies. Innovation policy in Europe, as the Research and Innovation Smart Specialisation Strategy clearly shows, is built not only on national policies, but also on regional policies. Hence, aiming at providing an effective analytical framework a tools for innovation policies in Europe, the European Commission cannot overlook that subnational policies need to be entered in the STIP Compass, and this could be done in a straightforward way, by using information on regional innovation policies already available in the DG Regio. As a matter of fact, our results show that a different pattern of policy mix emerges for the national level and the subnational levels, in the case of Belgium that has entered information on policy initiatives on both the national level and the three regions on Belgium. The next steps of the research are summarised.

Keywords: innovation policies; STIP Compass, multidimensional analysis, textual analysis, Taltac2; Gephi

JEL classification 03, 038, Z13

Aknowledgments The paper has been developed in the project “Innovation Intermediaries for Industry 4.0” (BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants SRG 2018, PI: Dr Federica Rossi). The authors wish to thank Amine Zaroual El Idrissi (BA in Economics and International Marketing, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia) for his contribution in the systematic exploration of information of STIP Compass Platform. The authors have summarised his exploration in a note shared with STIP Compass developers. We wish to thank Andrés Barrenche and his colleagues of STIP Compass team, at the Oecd Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, for their feedback, which have been extremely useful in polishing the present version of data analysis.

Selection of tables, figures and supplementary materials