The national German innovation system. Its development in different governmental and territorial structures
The international handbook on innovation,
The East-West entrepreneurial gap – a crucial economic problem in East Germany?
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The ratio of business units per inhabitant is one of the most important factors that determine the development of economies and regions, because it has a strong impact on competition, employment and innovation. In East Germany, where the process of catching up has decelerated since the mid-nineties, the findings on this topic are ambivalent: on the one hand, half a million self-employed persons are counted and a similar number of companies are registered by the regional Chambers of Industry and Commerce. Furthermore, about 157.000 companies engaged in handicraft exist. These figures can be regarded as a success compared to the beginning of the nineties at the outset of systemic transformation. On the other hand, a striking entrepreneurial gap in East Germany still exists compared to the situation in the western part. It seems that this gap will not be closed in the near future, even on the contrary: the number of newly registered business units in East Germany has declined. Against this background, the promotion of entrepreneurship will remain a great challenge on the political agenda.
Innovative Milieux: Advanced Posts of Interpenetration between the Economic System and the Science System
IWH Discussion Papers,
A growing number of governments, political parties, and enterprises set the theme „innovation“ on their agenda and join in the global race to more competitive national economies. In this race the concept of the „innovative milieu“ serves as an important point of orientation and as a political target that, on the first glance, seems to be transferable in concrete political measures. A basic feature of innovative milieux is the quick and easy transfer of knowledge to products in demand. This speed-up in the diffusion of knowledge is not only interesting with respect to the economic advantages but also with respect to science. It is the basic thesis of this paper that innovative milieux represent special cases where the economic system and the science system interpenetrate in an extreme way. Empirical findings show that the actors of innovative milieux have a strong cultural proximity to basic attitudes and behavior within the science system. This relates to the institutionalization of trial and error, the reinforcement of exploratory behavior, the flow of information, and to a special mixture of cooperation and competition. An essential feature of innovative milieux derives from the network relations of its actors. These relations have to be balanced a) to the need to create trust and reduce uncertainty, and b) to the need to stay permeable enough for linkages with new actors from outside. With regard to time innovative milieux have to be conceived from an evolutionary perspective. This involves several steps: Development of prerequisites, consolidation, attraction of labor and enterprises from other regions. From the evolutionary perspective, too, possible factors of preventing or accelerating the „entropic death“ (Camagni 1991) of innovative milieux can be discussed. The exceptional character of innovative milieux has consequences for innovation-oriented political strategies. The self-enforcing dynamics of innovative milieux create a tendency to more economic inequality between regions (core-periphery differences). This is contradictory to political strategies in which innovation-oriented policy is applied to reach an offset between prospering and impoverished regions. In many cases a strategy starting from the assumption of an enduring non-innovative milieu seems to be more realistic and more promising. Further on, the new more direct links between enterprises and research institutes question the current shape of technology transfer institutions. Finally the potential effects of the new trend to encourage the entrepreneurship of research staff on the science system are discussed.