The project has three main objectives:

  1. Review of policies and instruments capable of raising R&D investment in Europe, the USA, Japan, Canada and South Corea
  2. Assessing the effectiveness of different policy mixes to increasing private and public R&D expenditures
  3. Developing and implementing a tool box for policy makers for designing and implementing an adequate policy mix for raising R&D investment in their countries

Developing and implementing a tool box for policy makers for designing and implementing an adequate policy mix for raising R&D investment in their countries

  • A focus on the policy mix concept - i.e. the interaction of different policy instruments in place -, that is until now, weakly and under-developed in existing analyses;
  • The transformation of in-depth analyses and existing knowledge bases into user-friendly policy support tools.

With regard to the first element - the policy-mix concept - this refers to the idea that one single policy instrument is unlikely to be effective to reach the desired overall impact of raising R&D investments, unless it works in good complementarity and interaction with other policies and framework conditions for R&D. This has been amply demonstrated by academic studies and practical experience, but the understanding of what constitutes effective policy mixes is still in its infancy. This situation is the result of long-standing fragmentation of thinking in academic research, consultancy work, as well as in policy-making, impeding experts with knowledge in certain areas of R&D to understand the interactions with other areas. A first objective of this study is therefore to establish a methodology to assess the combined contribution of R&D policy instruments to achieving the central target of raising R&D investments.

With respect to the second element the effective support to policy-makers- a starting point of this project is that support to policy-making cannot be approached through a search for an overall best practice. The appropriate policy mix for a country, region or sector, is dependent on the specific strengths and weaknesses of the innovation system at stake, and from the prevailing framework conditions. As a consequence, the definition of a particular policy-mix will always require a lot of strategic intelligence from policy-makers and cannot be resolved through the application of automatic tools. What this study offers is a user-friendly framework to ensure that existing information on the range of existing policies, and on their individual and combined efficiency in various contexts, is made available to policy-makers. While the amount of information on R&D policies has increased dramatically over the last five years, and especially since the political decision has been taken in Europe to create the ERA, this information is not easy to exploit for the purpose of concrete policy-making at Member State level. Thus, the study has the ambition to incorporate all the existing knowledge in a coherent web-based system, for easy use by policy-makers. Efforts will be made during the study itself to interact with users (i.e. policy-makers) by ensuring diffusion of the results and by seeking validation and contribution to prototyping use of the tool developed.

The main target group of this study are policy-makers in charge of the design of R&D policy in Member States, and their advisors. Therefore, the geographical scope of the analysis will be the EU25 plus Romania and Bulgaria. Comparative information will also be provided for four external countries from America and Asia, namely the US, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

The thematic scope of the study will encompass all policy instruments falling under the domain of R&D policy (i.e. measures to promote R&D activities of private and public actors) as well as framework conditions and governance mechanisms. The latter is particularly important since the capability of policy-makers to develop suitable policy mixes depends on the organisational environment for policy building. Hence, the study will cover all policies influencing public as well as private investments in research, budgetary as well as non-budgetary (e.g. legislation) modes of intervention, and infrastructures as well as programmes. It will take a broad view on research policy.