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Investigating the Impact of the Innovation Union

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - I3U (Investigating the Impact of the Innovation Union)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2018-09-30

The I3U project has assessed the progress in the implementation of the Innovation Union, the strength and the weakness of each commitment, the coherence, completeness, and effectiveness of the 34 commitments within the holistic framework of an innovation system. Finally, the I3U project has provided the quantitative evaluation, individually and as a whole, of those IU commitments for which reliable data and robust estimated marginal effects exist, within the framework of a macroeconomic model (NEMESIS). The I3U project deliverables (and in particular the third deliverables of work packages 1 – 8) have yielded insights that have led to the following three key recommendations, commitment by commitment:

Recommendation 1 – Looking at convergence and divergence of European innovation systems
Some of the Innovation Commitments are likely to lead to divergence in terms of innovation capabilities, either because of the very nature of the commitment (e.g. because the implied policy is targeted at innovation leaders), or because the commitment is implemented in varying degrees in the different member states of the EU. This concerns with the following commitments: C1/ C3/ C4/ C5/ C6/ C10/ C11/ C13/ C14/ C18/ C30.

Recommendation 2 – Better monitoring commitment implementation and outcomes
The analysis for the following commitments C7/ C12/ C16/ C17/ C19/ C22/ C23/ C31 has been severely hampered because of serious limitations in available data. Sometimes, this is due to the nature of the commitment, e.g. because it does not provide clear aims and goals so that measurement is difficult, and sometimes this is due to an absence of (publicly available) data sources.

Recommendation 3 – Adjustment and intensification of policy measures
The analysis in the project yielded specific conclusions about the potential adjustment of the policies implied by the Innovation Union commitments, or about their intensification. At the commitment level, this has concerned with the following commitments: C7/ C8/ C11/ C15/ C17/ C18/ C20/ C21/ C26/ C27/ C28/ C29.

Ultimately, not all the 34 IU commitments have been evaluated through NEMESIS. Following a close scrutiny, 13 commitments have been selected on the basis of data availability, their implementation stage and their amenability to being treated from a quantitative point of view.
The work carried out in the project has been implemented according to three main tasks: 1. assessment of the direct impacts of the Innovation Union Commitments in terms of improving the performances of the EU national innovation systems (WP1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8), 2. advancement in the integration of the findings (WP9) and calibration of the NEMESIS model (WP10) and 3. dissemination of the results (WP11).

Concerning dissemination of results, the following activities have been carried out:
• WP11 - Management, Dissemination, Exploitation & Communication. This WP has disseminated the results of the projects. The following activities for the dissemination and exploitation of the project results have been organized and managed:
1)Project meeting and review meeting
Five project meetings, of which three with the participation of Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and SC (Stakeholder Committee) members have been held. During the SAC and SC meetings, the project partners have presented the scientific approach of the project and the expectations of the SAC members have been discussed. Each meeting has had a structure as follows:
•A summary of IU commitments under its WP;
•The state of implementation;
•The main findings.
Three review meetings with external experts nominated by the European Commission were held, where the partners have provided detailed presentations of the activities carried out under each WP and the achieved and planned activities.
2)Validation workshop
The aim of the I3U Validation Workshop was to present to EC policy officers the preliminary research results achieved in I3U, with particular attention to the methodological approach adopted to assess each commitment and its validation, and to elicit additional insights with particular reference to the availability of data and information not acquired so far by the project team.
3)Project Final Conference
The Final Conference has presented and explained the project’s results, evaluating how successful the Innovation Union’s commitments have been, and potential ways to address the challenges and gaps that still exist.
4)Project Newsletters
The Project Newsletters (4) have been posted on the project website and distributed to about 500 individual contacts for each newsletter. The content of the newsletters included information on the partners’ dissemination efforts, insights on the project results, including how the commitments can be inserted into the NEMESIS model and how sharing information and resources impact research and innovation in Europe.
5)Project Website
The project Website ( ) with regularly updated contents, Deliverables, news and project material has supported the project activities from the outset.
6)Publications in scientific journals and participation to conferences
The exploitation of I3U results has been carried out with about 60 among books, papers, and presentations from project partners, academia and research members.
Concerning the progress beyond the state of the art, an important result of the project has been the adaptation of the macro model NEMESIS for the evaluation of the different commitments that constitute the Innovation Union.

Thirteen of these commitments, that pursue quantitative objectives and for which data are available for a proper quantification, have finally been ‘implemented’ in the model, and their socio-economic impacts have been evaluated. It is the first time that a global assessment of the IU has been provided with the help of a macro simulation model.

In terms of expected results, the Innovation Union commitments impacts have to a large degree been evaluated, found their justification and yielded their desired effects. About a third of the commitments have not yet or only partially been implemented. The individual analysis of the 34 commitments has reached four conclusions: first, that there is a high fragmentation of research along country boundaries, accompanied by a lack of transparency and a duplication of research efforts; secondly, there is a lack of micro data needed to enable an accurate evaluation of some of the commitments; third, a majority of the commitments tend to increase the innovation divide between countries in the EU; and finally, there are sometimes conflicts in interest between the EU and some local or sectoral interests.

Almost 50% of the commitments of the Innovation Union concern interactions between agents. About 25% of them concern the relief of obstacles to innovation and 25% the implementation of conditions necessary to its achievement. However, the analysis has shown that there is not one innovation system in Europe but four groups of systems, the strongly developed in all dimensions, the publicly-policy-led, where the private sector is not as developed but public policy is very active, the developing one, which is strongly dependent on external knowledge and competencies, and the lagging behind where public policy is relatively weak.
European Innovation System