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  • European Research Area - A sufficient instrument in supporting transition towards a knowledge-based economy in Europe?
    Marianne Paasi, European Commission

    Paper presented in the Workshop "Innovation, technological change and growth in knowledge base and service intense economies, Stockholm, February 2001

    The objective for establishing a European Research Area (ERA, see "Towards a European research area", Communication of the European Commission, 2000) is to support growth and competitiveness as well as transition towards a knowledge-based economy in Europe. The creation of a ERA is felt to be necessary because of deficits in the European research and technical development. In particular, the ERA should remove the present fragmentation of the European research (i.e. resulting from uncoordinated research activities in the 15 Member states and in the 5th Framework programme) by setting-up a framework for a better organisation of European research. The ERA will be implemented through several actions that aim to establish connectivity and tighter co-operation in European research, to support mobility of researchers between the Member states, to increase investment in knowledge and to attract more human capital to Europe (the paper focus is only on economic aspects of the ERA).

    The paper analyses the individual actions planned by the Commission and Member states for implementing the ERA with respect to their efficiency in creating a competitive knowledge based economy. For understanding how does the ERA aim to support emerging knowledge based economy, the paper investigates the core concepts of knowledge-based economy behind and their rationale for the individual actions. The analysis uses the classical and more present theoretical literature on the issues of knowledge and knowledge-based economy (for example Arrow 1962, Nelson 1959, Neef,D. ed. 1998a and 1998b, OECD 2000, Edquist,C. 1997, David/Foray 1994).

    Thes analysis will show that a fast transition towards a knowledge-based economy in Europe is not possible without implementing the ERA. The new European research policy, manifested through the ERA, aims to abolish certain market and systemic failures in the European research system. Consequently, the implementation of the ERA will benefit all Member states. A closer look at the conditions for successful implementation of the concrete actions by the Member states show that several institutional and political constraints are capable of preventing the realisation of the ERA. A successful implication, therefore, needs complementary institutional and political changes in the Member states and/or careful design for the policy instruments.

    The conceptual analyses of the ERA - and the new European research policy - will reveal several strengths but also potential weakness that may call for further complementary plans. An increased knowledge about the ERA helps to initiate further theoretical work on the research and innovation policy in a knowledge-based economy and on its implementation.

  • The challenge of innovation in services
    Marianne Paasi, European Commission

    Introduction (as Raporteur) to the session B "The challenge of innovation in services" in the publication of the papers presented in the conference " Innovation and Enterprise Creation: Statistics and Indicators " - Sofia Acropolis, Nov. 2000, forthcoming

    Summary of Session B

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