30 January 2020 Stavanger, Norway
Agenda of the OECD Policy Sessions
The OECD Spatial Productivity Lab
30 January 2020 | 10:50 - 12:30
Innovation diffusion, industrial landscape and spatial productivity
Moderator: Alexandra Tsvetkova, Economist and Policy Analyst, OECD Trento Centre for Local Development
Innovation is the most important contributor to long-term economic growth. It is not just about “pushing the frontier”, but also about the spread of ideas and technologies throughout the economy. Innovation diffusion (the uptake of innovation by firms and other institutes) is an important mechanism of regional catching-up that leads to more productive regional economies.
While innovation diffusion, industrial upgrading and productivity performance of a region are all closely linked, academic attention and policy efforts rarely focus on all elements. The insights from academic research can be too general and not applicable in all places. Local policy initiatives can be heavily shaped by past experiences, possibly poorly suited to the new realities. A dialog between scholars and policy practitioners is paramount for the successful design and implementation of local and regional growth strategies that work for all.
Questions for discussion:
30 January 2020 | 13:30 - 15:10
Towards a broad-based innovation policy for all cities and regions
Moderator: Rudiger Ahrend, Head of Unit, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
To ensure that technological and knowledge diffusion reaches all types of regions a broader approach to innovation policy might be required. There is an increasing body of evidence that weaknesses in technology and knowledge diffusion in the OECD are weighing on productivity growth and innovation, particularly in firms that are distant from the technological frontier (whether global or national). This weakens the capacity of OECD countries to adapt to meet future challenges and undermines inclusive growth. To empower firms in all types of regions to benefit from global trends and technological change, a broad based innovation policy also needs to be flexible enough to adapt to the different capacity and innovation eco systems in different regions and cities.
Innovation policy that adapts to local needs requires a broader approach than a focus on excellence in academic research or firms R&D activities. Universities and firms in some places are pushing the national or global knowledge frontier, but for most regions and cities innovation and upgrading of local firms is driven through other means. Some regions can leverage pockets of excellence, e.g. firms that are highly competitive (often in specific niches) or specialised research centres or academic departments. For other regions, the path towards excellence comes through imported knowledge and links with other regions and multi-national enterprises that (can) help upgrade local firms’ production, their product or service space, etc..
Question for discussion: