Designing Regional Innovation Policies from Innovation Scoreboards
This MeRSA project aims to transform the European Innovation Scoreboard into a useful instrument for the definition, measurement and directionality of innovation policies. The project goes beyond the state-of-the-art by developing a technology (i.e. computational software) that measures innovation from multiple perspectives (i.e. glasses): size, efficiency, cross efficiency, technological change, catching-up, network efficiency, scale and scope, saturation and effectiveness. All these perspectives will be developed using mathematical programming techniques to be applied to the set of data provided by the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) for all European countries and by the Regional Innovation Scoreboard (RIS) for all European regions.
The novelty of this MeRSA research grant lies in that departing from publicly available data, it will develop multiple perspectives that allow capturing the inherent multidimensionality of innovation systems. The project does not intend to discuss the quality and accuracy of the EIS or the RIS data. It will merely use the same set of existing (public) data in the form provided by the EIS and the RIS, but from many different perspectives, to produce an array of robust results, to define more effective policies. To use a metaphor, we will develop a technology equivalent to the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), but for assessing innovation systems rather than football, and providing directionality to policy makers rather than to referees.
“In the year 2007 I published the first-ever contribution on the application of Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) to assess the innovation efficiency of European regions in Regional Studies. Ever since, DEA as a scientific method has gone through a major development, leading to a higher robustness. In fact, some of the publications I have been involved in, dealing with the application of these robust DEA methods. As a result, we have already developed the methodologies to assess some of the dimensions we aim to use in the project: innovation size, efficiency, cross efficiency, technical change and catching up, but these methodologies have been developed at the national level. I usually say that, so far, we have been developing a prototype, and finetuning it to achieve robust results at the national level. Now that we know that the prototype works, our ambition is to scale it up, applying the methodologies that we already have at the regional level, so our conclusions can feed the decisions of regional policy makers.
With the MeRSA grant I expect to achieve the following outcomes: (i) to develop the methodologies that are still missing (i.e. network efficiency, scale, scope, saturation, effectiveness) to assess territorial innovation at national levels; (ii) to extend the application of all of the above dimensions from the national to the regional levels in Europe; (iii) to have a sound evidence-based policy impact that helps to break with the dominant logics of the-more-the-better, so policymaking is not limited to putting more and more resources into innovation systems, but rather seeking for an optimization of the already existing resources to increase the additionality of innovation policies. Having received the MeRSA grant will undoubtedly help me accomplish my vision of developing a technology that makes innovation scoreboards useful for the definition and directionality of innovation policies.”
Watch a video of Jon Mikel describing his research