Background and Focus
New global challenges like the digital revolution and the growing complexity of research and new global players (e.g. superstar firms like Google and Alibaba) call for a new role of government, as well as new and innovative approaches to innovation policy. As a consequence of digitalization and growing research complexity, international cooperation in research, development and innovation (R&D&I) is becoming ever more important. Production and innovation are increasingly organized in global value chains and fragmented across countries (OECD 2015). Innovators draw on knowledge and ideas from across the world, leading to the emergence of new global centers of innovation and the rise of new global challengers, i.e. innovation leaders from emerging economies. Most obviously, international cooperation in research and development can foster innovation, growth, and ultimately welfare. Firms may benefit from cost-reductions in R&D, while customers may benefit from an increased variety – and quality – of goods and services. However, today’s innovative regions might lose their competitive edge if knowledge can flow freely across borders, and certain firms might try to avoid international competition in R&D&I.
The global developments outlined above call for new approaches to innovation policy. The intention of the workshop is to bring together scholars from different fields to discuss the consequences of digitalization and the increasing internationalization of R&D&I for regional development and for the proper design of innovation policies.