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The changing nature of Internationalization of Innovation in Europe: impact on firms and the implications for innovation policy in the EU

Final Report Summary - GLOBINN (The changing nature of internationalization of innovation in Europe: impact on firms and the implications for innovation policy in the EU)

The overall objective of GLOBINN was to improve our understanding of the changing nature of globalisation of Europe's innovation systems by studying the international knowledge sourcing strategies of European firms and their effect on performance. The starting premise of the project was that Europe's knowledge resources and its role in the global economy will be increasingly shaped by the ability of European Union (EU) firms to source knowledge internationally.

The research undertaken within the project focused on the three main modes that firms employ in internationalising their innovative activities:
(a) the global trading of technology based services and licensing as firms seek to exploit the global markets for their technologies;
(b) international collaborative agreements and strategic alliances as firms seek out international partners for their knowledge generating activities; and
(c) the international dispersal of their own R&D and technology creating activities as they seek out new regions and resources in different parts of the world.

GLOBINN is first and foremost an empirical project bringing together evidence based on a variety of different data sources and methodologies: large scale publicly available international data on knowledge transfer and trade; national data from national statistical offices such as the United Kingdom (UK) and the Czech Republic; own collected primary data for individual large firms and from sector and firm level case studies. In short, we collected and analysed a wealth of data in order to shed new light on alternative, yet inter-related modes of knowledge acquisition employed by European as well as foreign firms in the process of the internationalisation of their innovative activities. Thus, one of our main contributions has been to assemble a large set of stylized facts in relation to internationalisation of innovative activities.

The assembled data were used to address five main issues. The first was the extent to which EU firms are involved in this process compared to their counterparts in the United States (US) or Japan. The second was the intra-EU or extra-EU dimension, with specific attention to the engagement of European firms in new emerging countries such as India and China. Thirdly, we analysed the characteristics of the firms involved in the process (such as size and industrial sector). The fourth issue addressed was the managerial difficulties involved in engaging with foreign sources of innovation in relation to each of the three modes. Finally, the project examined the impact on firm-level innovation and economic performance. The aim was to increase the evidence base and thus provide a more sound basis for discussing the available policy instruments that can be utilized to address the challenges facing both national and EU innovation policies in the light of increased globalisation.