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TitleEvaluation of the indirect impact of programs to stimulate innovation : multi case studies
Author(s)Silva, Dorotéa
Romero, Fernando
Vieira, Filipa Dionísio
KeywordsInnovation programs evaluation
Intangible effects of innovation
Indirect impacts
Portuguese SME
Issue dateSep-2014
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
JournalProceedings of the European Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Abstract(s)The present study proposes an approach for the rationale of evaluating innovation programs, analysing indirect impacts in order to identify knowledge acquisition and transformation processes. It will look predominantly at the problem of assessing the intangible effects of innovation programs, which has been scarcely or unsatisfactory addressed by the literature. It is based on the observation and analysis of a program to encourage innovation in small and medium enterprises (SME). The program, called NITEC, aims to foster and support the creation of R&D structures inside SMEs. In this study, and in order to support our main arguments, we will refer to the experience of nine firms that participated in the NITEC program. The aim is to show how the NITEC program may contribute to the process of transformation of knowledge. Data was obtained through an extensive face to face interview with the top executive responsible for innovation, using a semi-structured approach. As part of each company case study, we compiled a detailed background analysis, through a semi-structured interview guide. The data was collected during the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, and involved interviews to the Head Manager of Innovation of the enterprise It was found that there was a high degree of positive externalities, which are related to NITEC vocation to be a technological capability building program, with an important inducement potential inside and outside enterprises. The empirical observation that indirect impacts exists ratifies criticism of the linear model of innovation, since this model does not consider and not allow for those effects. In this case, the indirect impacts, i.e. knowledge acquisition and networking, are much more frequent as a perceived result of this program, which means that there are results that were not expected from the project’s initial objectives. All the enterprises of the sample have strong indirect impacts. The most frequent indirect impact is on Transfer Capacity, a proxy for knowledge transfer, revealing its importance for program evaluation and policy-making. All the evaluated enterprises had this kind of impact. The concentration of technological transfer effects for enterprises indicates that it was by means of a free and informal process of transfer of product and process technology to suppliers that it appropriated the gains of innovation. The present study gave a real idea of what indirect outcomes of a large technological program are, a relatively under researched and previously unknown terrain, and confirms the magnitude of the importance of indirect impacts, in particular those related to knowledge transfer, and the need to consider them in future evaluations. The study case methodology gave the opportunity of recognizing more accurately the nature of knowledge acquisition in the context of NITEC.
TypeConference paper
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:CGIT - Publicações em actas de encontros científicos / Papers in conference proceedings

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