SMEs’ Experiences of Swedish Innovation Policies from a Transformative and Systematic Approach

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: Society is facing diverse vital societal challenges, which has led to an increased focus on how policy makers should target these challenges. Innovation policies have gone through a development from firm based R&D towards a more systematic and transformative approach towards innovation. This research has investigated how policy instrument in the form of innovation programs have been experienced by SMEs, as well as their impact on the innovation process. The data have been collected through interviews with SMEs that have been involved in the chosen innovation programs, which are managed by the Swedish governmental agency Vinnova. The study primarily uses Schot and Steinmueller’s (2016) three frames of innovation policy in order to analyze the empirics. Especially the third frame, related to systematic and transformative change is applied. The research shows that the chosen innovation programs’ aims are aligned with the third frame of innovation policy. Furthermore, the experiences of the interviewed SMEs show that they are aligned with the transformative approach towards innovation. The systematic approach has not been experienced as successful to the same extent since the SMEs have experienced problems with collaboration with academia and research institutes.

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