4: Facilitating Technology Exchange and Innovation

4: Facilitating Technology Exchange and Innovation

Entrepreneurship, technology and innovation are mutually supportive. Technology provides entrepreneurs with new tools to improve the efficiency and productivity of their business, or with new platforms on which to build their ventures. In turn, entrepreneurs fuel technological innovation by developing new or improving existing products, services or processes and ensuring commercialization. In developing countries, both angles are important, to varying degrees, depending on the level of local economic development, the rate of adoption of technologies in use internationally, and the innovation capabilities of local firms or research institutions. Taking into account the two-way relationship between technology/innovation and entrepreneurship, table II.4 presents a synopsis.

Policy Objectives

Support greater diffusion of ICTs to the private sector

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Launch awareness and capacity-building campaigns on ICT use
  • Stimulate the introduction of ICT into business
  • Support the development of on-line and mobile market information platforms
  • Provide training on ICTs to target groups such as women and rural entrepreneurs

Promote inter-firm networks that help spread technology and innovation

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Promote horizontal linkages through cluster development
  • Provide assistance for standardization and quality certification to networks of local enterprises (including social and environmental standards)
  • Promote business linkages through supplier development

Build bridges between public bodies, research institutions, universities and the private sector

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Identify joint research activities with clearly designated participants and beneficiaries
  • Promote PPPs and mixed public/private structures to diffuse innovation
  • Develop market friendly university-industry collaboration
  • Promote institutional synergies at the sectoral level

Support high-tech start-ups

Policy options (recommended actions):

  • Establish high-tech business incubators, knowledge hubs and science parks
  • Facilitate start ups that commercialize innovation
  • Build networks in knowledge intensive sectors with leading science experts and academics around the world
  • Give researchers and innovators streamlined access to cost-effective patent protection
Checklist of key questions
  • Are there awareness and capacity-building campaigns on ICT use?
  • Is there a policy to promote diffusion of technologies to SMEs?
  • Does the Government facilitate or provide training and support for technology upgrading in small firms?
  • Are there initiatives to facilitate and encourage exports, business linkages and industrial clusters?
  • Are there supplier development programmes to engage SMEs in the value chain of larger companies?
  • Does the Government provide assistance for standardization and quality certification for local enterprises to meet required standards, including social and environmental standards?
  • Does the government encourage and support linkages for university–industry partnerships?
  • Does it provide support for applied research and commercialization of science and technology?
  • Does the government provide support infrastructure or engage in public-private partnerships to establish business incubators, clusters, networks and science parks for science and technology commercialization?
Indicators to measure effectiveness

Possible indicators

  • Share of graduates with science/ engineering degrees
  • Number (and occupancy rates) of science parks, technology hubs and incubators
  • Share of technology-intensive start-ups in total start ups
  • Share of technology-intensive start-ups with venture capital funding

What they monitor

  • Success in promoting science/ engineering careers
  • Availability and success of facilities for the promotion of technology intensive start-ups
  • Success in promoting technology intensive start-ups