Author Archives: Margaret Pesuit

I3U Third Steering Project and Stakeholders Committee (SC) meeting held in Zagreb

The Third Steering Project and Stakeholders Committee Meeting took place on September 29-30, 2016 in Zagreb. The meeting highlighted what has been achieved in the project so far, and looked more closely at the role and expectations of the Stakeholders’ Committee in the project.

A joint empirical study analysing all of the IU commitments will be undertaken, and a European cross-country panel database will be set up, for which regression models, dependent variables and explanatory variables have already been identified. It is important that the expected impact of IU commitments be translated into policy targets.

All of the partners gave updates on the progress they have made so far and the refinements made to their methodologies. It was agreed that both the approach and the analyses need to elicit the impacts of various inputs – including investment, regulatory frameworks, research programmes and policy actions – on innovation. To better understand these impacts, the project needs to ensure that its terminology and concepts are aligned with those of the EU.

Some interesting results have come out of the Member States’ self-assessment of their reform programmes, which has allowed them to identify key challenges and critical improvements to be made. It turns out that there is a clear, direct correlation between performance and the complexity of the strategy adopted at the national level.

The Stakeholders Committee also came to some important conclusions. To better reach policy makers, technical insights and research results need to be translated into political messages and agendas. In EU innovation policy, there needs to be a new approach, one that is not just industry-specific, but that is also oriented towards regions and countries. There is currently a discrepancy between national and EU statistics on innovation, and the use of the IU Scoreboard may be not enough to present a consistent picture of innovation. This, in fact, is a key challenge for the project – that not all of the Commitments are easily quantifiable. These issues, as well as policy expectations, will be addressed at the project’s final conference.

The next project meeting will be held in March 2017 in Paris.

General information

Meeting agenda

Meeting minutes


WP1: Human capital: Status and plans

WP2: ERA-EU funds – EIT

WP2: Commitment 7: SMEs in research and innovation programmes: Progress review, future activities and plans for integration

WP3: Innovation and access to finance

WP4: Creating a single innovation market: Future activities and plans for integration

WP5: Openness and Europe’s creative potential: Future activities and plans for integration

WP5: Commitment 19: Promoting openness and capitalising on Europe’s creative potential

WP5: Commitment 20: Open access to research results and research information services

WP5: Commitment 21: Facilitating effective collaborative research and knowledge transfer

WP6: Commitment 27: A) Public sector innovation scoreboard, and B) Research programme on public sector and social innovation

WP6: Social and territorial cohesion: On the methodology of impact analysis

WP6: Social and territorial cohesion: Commitments 24-28

WP7: Commitment 31: Scientific cooperation with third countries  

WP7: EIP and leveraging policies externally

WP8: Making it happen

WP9: The conceptual model of the EU innovation system

WP10: Macro-sectoral economic modelling

WP11: Management, dissemination, exploitation and communication

WP11: External bodies

I3U featured in iCite’s working paper series

The i-Cite Working Paper published by Michele Cintera and Anabela Santos  ( on the literature review they did for I3U on Innovation and Access to Finance has now been published as an IRMO Occasional Paper ( .


Promoting Research and Development (R&D) activities is the main goal of the EU 2020 Strategy in order to achieve an R&D spending at least 3% of GDP. The Innovation Union is one of the seven flagship initiatives of the EU 2020 Strategy, which has the aims: to improve access to finance for R&D; to get innovative ideas to market; to ensure growth and jobs (European Commission, 2014b). The aim of the present paper is to identify and explain the main mechanisms related to four commitments of the Innovation Union: i) Commitment 10 (Put in place EU level financial instruments to attract private finance); ii) Commitment 11 (Ensure cross-border operation of venture capital funds); iii) Commitment 12 (Strengthen cross-border matching of innovative firms with Investors); iv) Commitment 13 (Review State Aid Framework for Research, Development and Innovation). To this purpose, a review of both theoretical and emprical literatures about ’Innovation, Access to Finance and SMEs’ based on more than 80 scientific articles is presented. The paper provides an analysis of the main alternative financial instruments to bank loan, namelly Risk-Sharing Facility Financing, Venture Capital, Business Angels and public subsidies. We found some evidence in the literature that Venture Capital could has a limited impact in enhancing innovation in the longterm and that some public support schemes could be more effective than other, depending on the firm’s maturity state.

Read the paper in its entirety

I3U Newsletter 1 – May 2016

I3U – Investigating the Impact of the Innovation Union has just released their first newsletter. The newsletter discusses a number of innovation-related issues, such as EU research and innovation programmes, ensuring more involvement of SMEs in future R&I programmes, and the Smart Specialisation Strategy.

I3U Newsletter 1 – May 2016

Assessing the Member State Reform Programmes

– prepared by Carlo Sessa, ISIS and Riccardo Enei, ISIS

To create a comprehensive picture of the European legislative and political framework supporting innovation, we must first provide a comparative assessment of the Member States Reform programmes as mandated by Innovation Union Commitment 33, which states that Member States are invited to carry out self-assessments and identify key challenges and critical reforms as part of their National Reform Programmes.

This analysis has been split into two phases. The first one – already completed – describes the action taken by the European Commission to support the self-assessment of national research and innovation systems and Innovation Union progress at the country level. In the second phase, to be completed in March 2016, the current state of the art of existing national innovation systems will be presented. This state of the art will be based on new published or unpublished information that will be collected regarding the implementation of the Innovation Union at the country level.

The most updated information published by authoritative sources at the EU and country level has been analysed. Nine key challenges and bottlenecks impeding R&I’s full contribution to smart, sustainable and inclusive growth have been identified. The first challenge is investment in public R&D, which is crucial for generating knowledge and leveraging business investment in research and innovation. The second involves university governance reforms, which can ensure fair, open and transparent recruitment to academic positions and the allocation of research funding. The third regards human capital building strategies, such as the establishment of national centres, etc. There are also R&I strategies; the lack of capacity mobilisation, the lack of a public support strategy designed to mobilise public research capacities to efficiently address the needs of both society and the economy. In addition, there is R&I public-private co-operation, i.e. the inadequacy of public research capacities to foster public-private cooperation. Other issues include fiscal measures, that is, an effective fiscal framework for stimulating investment; innovation clusters, to tackle bottlenecks that restrict growth of innovative firms; and R&I evaluations, which can correct inefficiencies in public incentives to stimulate business R&D. Finally, there is the question of public procurement addressing demand-side measures as part of an integrated and comprehensive policy approach reducing risks for private investors.

This assessment will give a broader picture of how European countries design policies and strategies to promote innovation. This European picture in turn will lead to the analysis of the characteristics of the European Innovation System, i.e. main actors, taxonomies and behavioural patterns, that is, how actors behave, key results and models showing how drivers of innovations influence performance.

Contextualising Commitments 29 through 32

Over the past year, research was aimed at putting Commitments 29-32 into the context of the related theoretical and empirical literature. These commitments cover the following areas: Commitment 29. Pooling internal EU resources and efforts through European Innovation Partnerships (prepared by Rumen Dobrinsky WIIW), Commitment 30. Retaining and Attracting International Talent (not included in this article), Commitment 31. Scientific Cooperation with Third Countries (prepared by Andrea Mervar, EIZ), Commitment 32. Roll-out global research infrastructures (prepared by Małgorzata Stefania Lewandowska, SGH-WERI). A literature review was done for each of these commitments, focusing on the broad scope of economic mechanisms involved and their relation to many parts of the innovation process. The main findings are as follows:

Commitment 29: European Innovation Partnerships (prepared by Rumen Dobrinsky, WIIW)

The European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) are a new, challenge-driven approach to EU research and innovation, focusing on societal benefits and a rapid modernisation of the associated sectors and markets. According to their declared objectives,  “EIPs should act across the whole research and innovation chain, bringing together all relevant actors at EU, national and regional levels in order to: (i) step up research and development efforts; (ii) coordinate investments in demonstration and pilots; (iii) anticipate and fast-track any necessary regulation and standards; and (iv) mobilise ‘demand’ in particular through better coordinated public procurement to ensure that any breakthroughs are quickly brought to market”.

So far, the EU has launched five EIPs to address the following key social challenges:

  • EIP on Active & Healthy Ageing (November 2011)
  • EIP Water (June 2012)
  • Agricultural Productivity & Sustainability EIP (June 2012)
  • EIP on Raw Materials (October 2012)
  • EIP on Smart Cities and Communities (March 2013)

With respect to Commitment C29, in accordance to its overall research objectives and plan, the I3U project is pursuing several research tasks:

  • Analysis of the key new mechanisms and channels of the EIPs potential impact as and identifying indicators of such impact;
  • Review of EIP implementation so far and critical assessment of their progress towards their objectives and targets;
  • Direct impact assessment of EIP implementation and conclusions on their measurable impact;
  • Providing inputs regarding the integration of project findings.

During the first year of project implementation, research was directed towards a thorough literature review with a view to putting Commitment 29 into the context of the related theoretical and empirical literature. The current stage of research is focusing on the assessment of EIP implementation and the methodology of direct impact assessment.

Commitment 31: Scientific Cooperation with Third Countries (prepared by Andrea Mervar, EIZ)

A threefold economic rationale lies behind Commitment 31. The EU should expand its international scientific and technological cooperation with the rest of the world and thus increase spillovers from outside the EU. Additionally, scientific cooperation with third countries is intended to address global societal challenges as well as to support EU external policies by increasing spillovers to certain countries and regions outside the EU. In 2012, a new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation was adopted, with a view to implementing Horizon 2020, while in 2014 the EC provided an extensive progress report on the implementation of the strategy accompanied by multi-annual roadmaps for international cooperation with eleven key partner countries and regions. The literature review aimed at looking over the main economic concepts and ideas behind Commitment 31. It focused on the strand of literature that deals with international R&D spillovers but also tackled the growing body of studies on the internationalisation of R&D as well as related business literature dealing with the ‘global innovation paradigm’.

Some of the most interesting findings were that empirical studies on international R&D spillovers have varied in their focus, their country samples, the time span covered as well as the results, but the general conclusions point in the direction of positive cross-country R&D spillovers, which are often stronger than those on the domestic market. In addition, the growing internationalization of R&D activities combined with the global nature of some of the current challenges (such as climate change, epidemics, etc.) require countries and regions to cooperate in science, technology and innovation in order to find solutions to global pressures and threats.

Commitment 32: Towards Global Research Infrastructures (prepared by Małgorzata Stefania Lewandowska, SGH-WERI)

The rationale of Commitment 32, Towards Global Research Infrastructure, is the complexity of global research infrastructure: the high costs of project design (from concept screening, strategic assessment feasibility study, and construction through the operational phase), the need for highly qualified human resources, and the global nature of the scientific challenges. These facts make it impossible for one country or region alone to build and operate these facilities. The solution is to make concerted international efforts to create global research infrastructures (GRI). In late 2014 through early 2015 the GSO members (Group of Senior Officials established at G8 Ministerial meeting) developed a list of research infrastructures of global interest (GRIs) aimed at exploring or enhancing potential international partnerships. Some resolutions proposed so far are: the establishment of a Group of Senior Officials for Global Research Infrastructures (GSO), the setting up of a European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), which has been one of the most successful European initiatives in attracting the interest of international players, European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), as well as a European Expert Group on Cost Control and Management. The rationale as well as solutions for Commitment 32 are investigated using three theoretical concepts: (1) the Common Pool Resource (CPM) Approach, (2) the Concept of Critical Mass and (2) the Economics of Network Theory. Also important are the indicators to be used to monitor and evaluate the performance of Global Research Infrastructures, along with the research design for qualitative assessment of GRIs.

An analysis of the level of involvement of EU and non-EU countries in research infrastructure projects show that there is a strong discrepancy between countries like Germany, France, Italy and the rest of the EU Members when considering the intensity of involvement in these projects. If the Global Research Infrastructures are based on existing projects, the disproportionate involvement of the various countries could be exacerbated. In the long run, this could lead to the worsening of the “middle-income trap” of post–Communist countries and postpone their transition to a higher value-added economy based on high productivity and innovation.

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