This project represents an empirically based investigation of innovation in small and medium sized private sector enterprises in Ukraine and Belarus. More specifically, the project aims to:
To describe the pattern of innovation and use of technology in Ukrainian and Belarussian SMEs in selected manufacturing and service sectors;
To gain greater understanding of the processes of innovation and use of technology in Ukrainian and Belarussian SMEs and to identify the factors which inhibit innovation;
To identify the conditions which encourage innovation and technological development in Belarussian and Ukrainian SMEs and to identify best practice cases with respect to innovation and successful technological development;
To evaluate attempts by policy makers in Ukraine and Belarus to use instruments of industry and technology policy to encourage innovation and technological development in SMEs.
The two countries featuring in the study have been slow to introduce market reforms and to recognise the potential contribution of private sector SMEs to economic transformation and development. By analysing the nature and extent of the innovative activity that is currently taking place in SMEs, and by providing insight into how this may be enhanced, the research aims to contribute to the debate about how the contribution of SMEs to economic transformation may be increased.
The key tasks to be completed are:
A review of key literature with respect to innovation and SMEs, including literature from western and other transition countries and existing evidence of innovation in Ukraine and Belarus;
Key sector studies of innovative activity in Ukraine and Belarus;
Design of the empirical work;
A quantitative survey of 300 SMEs in both Ukraine and Belarus in selected sectors to represent medium/high technology manufacturing, low technology manufacturing, and service activities;
Case studies of innovative SMEs in Belarus and Ukraine;
Evaluation of policy instruments concerned with encouraging and supporting innovation and technological development, in Ukraine and Belarus;
National reports on innovation in private sector SMEs in Ukraine and Belarus;
Final report which highlights the key similarities and differences in the nature and extent of innovative activity in SMEs in the two countries, set within the context of the experience in mature market economies and that of other transition countries
Expected results include:
An analysis of the current nature and extent of innovation in small firms in Ukraine and Belarus;
An analysis of the main barriers to innovation in small firms in Ukraine and Belarus, together with best practice case studies of innovating firms that have successfully overcome these;
An evaluation of the appropriateness, effectiveness and impact of the main instruments of technology and innovation policy in Ukraine and Belarus, from a small firms standpoint.