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Behavioural Additionality Evaluation of industrial R&D programmes, the case of the TIP programme

Abstract

Behavioural additionality is defined as permanent (long-term) changes in all spheres of behaviour and general capabilities of supported companies as a consequence of public support received. It closely relates to the output additionality because it creates prerequisites for improvement of firms economic performance. This paper aims to show the concrete application of this concept in the evaluation of programmes in the Czech Republic on the example of the TIP programme. It also tries to outline certain aspects that cannot be captured on the one hand when looking only at input and output additionalities, but on the other hand they enable better understanding of these additionality types. The methodology used for assessing behavioural additionality is based on a qualitative approach, a mix of a questionnaire survey and structured interviews. The evaluation confirmed the applicability of the behavioural additionality concept for programmes evaluation in the Czech Republic and showed that both the short-term and long-term effects of the R&D support in the areas of cooperation, R&D activities and firms strategies have already occurred.

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How to perceive quantitative indicators when assessing research policies

Abstract

The purpose of our contribution is to discuss shortcomings of purely descriptive quantitative evaluation of research policies – based either on inputs (public investment, number of researchers), or outputs (publications, number of patents). To give an example we compare selected indicators across Visegrad countries in the period between 2006 and 2015. We conclude that both quantitative and qualitative perspectives as well as societal and political context should be taken into account when the performance of any R&D system and the impact of public investments into a public R&D sector are scrutinized.

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International cooperation in research and development of Artificial Intelligence – publication and patent activity

Abstract

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the dynamically evolving research fields on the global scale. The world production of publication associated with the AI field increased by a third over the four-year period 2013–2017. Even less research intensive countries as Iran, Turkey, India and Indonesia appear to increase the share of the AI topics in their publication output. In the Czech Republic the fraction of publications in the AI field increased by approximately 10 % over this period. It makes the lowest increase within the EU/EEA. The field normalized citation index of the Czech publications in the year 2016 was above the world average but it is deeply below the top countries USA, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, and Norway.

The extent of international cooperation in AI is generally below the world average. The Czech Republic falls into the group of less cooperating countries. The countries exhibiting the highest growth in AI research are underrepresented in the Czech cooperation portfolio. The fraction of Czech publications in AI coauthored by foreign authors is lower than the national average. It indicates a lower international collaboration in comparison with other research fields. CR falls also in the group of countries less engaged in the international cooperation. The Czech international collaboration misses the countries exhibiting the most vigorous R&D in AI. The international collaboration adds to the quality of the research. The Czech publications originating from the international collaboration are cited above the country average for the AI field. It is even more significant in the collaboration with researchers from the top countries in the AI R&D.

The patent activity in the AI field has grown significantly in recent years. There is a marked increase of patent applications having inventors/applicants from more than one country. It indicates that the applied R&D in AI has a more international character in comparison with other technology fields. A high intensity of collaboration in the authorship of patent applications is within language and geographically neighbouring countries and with countries having a highly internationalized R&D system. Multinational corporations involved in international innovation networks contribute also to the international cooperation. ICT corporations like IBM, Google, or Microsoft which often employ foreign researchers have a dominant role in international cooperation.

The R&D of the Czech enterprises is relatively closed to the international cooperation. Domestic enterprises in AI use foreign employees in a small extent. The domestic enterprises even do not tap into the pool of intellectual property authored by the Czech researchers. The majority of patents with participation of Czech inventors is registered by foreign corporations.

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The share of private sources in the revenues of Czech public universities

Abstract

Over the last several decades the traditional role of universities in their unique mission in education and research changed to include also the so-called third mission consisting in their active involvement in the socio-economic development of the society. Publicly available data from annual economic report of Czech public universities were analysed to demonstrate the universities´ ability to raise funding from off-budgetary sources which belongs to main characteristics of entrepreneurial university. Off-budgetary sources, where revenues for internal services prevailed, made in 2016 around 16 % of the total income of Czech public universities. The off-budgetary sources include in particular charges for accommodation and board, fees for entrance exam, tuition fees for students that exceed the standard length of studies by more than one year, and tuition fees for studies in a foreign language. The last fees make up to three quarters of all offbudgetary sources at universities that offer studies at medical faculties. The universities´ ability to execute the third role was due to limited availability of data accessed only partially by analysing revenues from knowledge transfer in supplementary activities that involve contractual research, income from licences, educational courses on demand, consultations and counselling. Contractual research in supplementary activities was the most important among the listed activities making up to 8 % of all off-budgetary sources revenues. In international comparison the Czech public universities raise about one half of revenues for R&D from entrepreneurial sources than EU-28 average and only one third compared to German universities. Revenues from license agreements are low making around 0.1 % of all revenues for R&D.

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Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support of innovative business in the South Moravian Region

Abstract

During 15 years of implementation of the Regional Innovation Strategy of South Moravia, the support of innovative business evolved into a set of interconnected programmes for startups and innovative companies with a potential of growth and foreign expansion. Programmes of the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) facilitate creation and development of technology oriented companies in the region, highly concentrated in prioritised high-tech branches corresponding with specialisation of the regional economy (IT, mechanical engineering etc.). Growth of highly qualified jobs (mainly in R&D) in these companies contributes to the increasing orientation of the region on knowledge intensive branches of economy. Emerging companies supported by the JIC show in average a longer lifespan and growth dynamics than comparable newly established companies in the region without this support. Realisation of the programmes also significantly contributes to building of high quality business environment in the region. Problematic aspects of support to innovative business in the South Moravian Region are linked mainly with poor network of investors able to stimulate faster growth of startups, with low motivation of university students to start their own business or with emerging dichotomy in the support of knowledge intensive businesses concentrated in Brno and insufficiently supported businesses with lower knowledge intensity, also operating in priority branches of the regional economy.

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Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support to incoming talents and specialists in the South Moravian Region

Abstract

Highly qualified and creative people are the key prerequisite of innovation development of every region. Orientation at the development of talents and inflow of qualified people from abroad gained importance during 15 years of implementation of the South Moravian Regional Innovation Strategy. Through the Internationalisation programme, realised since 2006, the regional authority awards scholarships to students from non-EU countries studying at universities in Brno. A substantial part of supported students remains in the region after graduation, working at highly qualified positions. The SoMoPro programme – a unique support tool from Czech but also from European perspective – contributes to the increase of internationalisation and quality of research conducted in South Moravia. Recognised foreign researchers are motivated to move to Brno especially thanks to the newly built top quality research infrastructure. However, turning their short to mid-term stays into a long-term residence is rather difficult given not sufficiently motivating wages in public R&D in Czechia. The needs of increasing number of foreign researchers and other specialists mainly in private sector are addressed by the Brno Expat Centre. In the last years, the number of clients and consultations provided by the organisation grew continuously. Despite more significant impact of national and international mobility schemes and other influences, the aggregate effect of regional activities supporting inflow and maintaining of foreign talents and specialists leads to the increasing attractiveness of the region and the development of a competitive advantage above the other regions of Czechia. Thus the described regional activities contribute to high shares of foreign students and researchers in the region, placing South Moravia on leading positions among Czech regions.

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Efficiency of regional innovation policy tools: Support to research-industry cooperation through the JIC Voucher programme

Abstract

Support to research-industry cooperation belongs to main priorities of the Regional Innovation Strategy of South Moravia, also considering the shortcomings identified in cooperation and knowledge transfer between these sectors. Establishing links between companies and research institutions was aimed by the JIC Voucher (2009–2015) programme, the first programme of innovation vouchers in Czechia. Even though the support of new partnerships between companies and research institutions was the main goal of the programme, the number of supported partnerships of formerly cooperating entities was higher. A follow-up cooperation, usually on financially larger research projects, took place in more than one third of supported partnerships. Thus the programme positively affected a part of participating companies to spend higher amounts on R&D needed for co-financing of projects funded from national R&D programmes. The follow-up projects were more often realised by partners cooperating even before receiving the voucher. Also the non-approved projects of formerly cooperating partners were more often realised using other sources of funds than projects of those newly cooperating on an application for innovation voucher. Despite significant benefits of JIC Voucher to strengthening cooperation between companies and research institutions, the support to large companies – also enabled by the programme – can be viewed as inessential. This is obvious especially with respect to resources and experience with research cooperation usually held by these companies.

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Research and development for Industry 4.0 – the position of the Czech Republic in cognitive computing and robotics

Abstract

We have examined the recent development of the knowledge base in the fields of cognitive computing and robotics. The proxies for the evaluation of the R&D in these fields are the publication activity and the patents production spanning the years 1998 to 2016. A comparison with selected EU countries, USA, China, Japan and South Korea is presented. The publication activities grow much faster than the overall volume of world publications. In the number of publications per year in the field of cognitive computing China surpassed in 2004 USA and trails the EU-28 since. The robotics seems less in the focus of China’s R&D as the Chinese publications output just reached the USA level in the last two years of the examined interval. A common feature of the Asian countries is a significantly below the world average citation impact of the publications in both fields. The number of patent applications in cognitive computing and robotics has been growing in recent years. The patent activity in the China is growing very fast, the EU and USA are gradually losing their position and China dominated in the patent activity in cognitive computing and robotics in 2015.

The Czech Republic exhibits a significantly above the EU average dynamics of the publication activity in both R&D fields. Though the robotics publications occupy a smaller fraction of the total national publications output, their citation impact at the roughly 150 percent level of the world average is on par with the publication output of EU-15 countries. The number of patent applications in cognitive computing and robotics with Czech invertors has been growing fast and their share in the total number of patent applications with Czech inventors is above the EU average. However, these applications are very often owned by foreign companies, in particular from the USA. Our study indicates that the Czech Republic has, in the world context, a robust and dynamic R&D capable to address the challenges associated with the implementation of Industry 4.0 and advanced information processing.

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Key Enabling Technologies – is the Czech Republic catching up the leading countries in innovation and technology?

Abstract

The topic of this contribution is a comparison of the research & development related to the “key enabling technologies” (KETs) in the Czech Republic and the European Union as a whole with selected non-European economies. A further aim of this article is an appraisal of the effect of the European strategies and action programmes which have been implemented since the turn of the decade and which target the lagging of EU in innovations in critical technologies. We use the publication and the patent activities as a proxy to assess the intensity of the KETs oriented R&D. The Asian countries Japan, South Korea and the fast growing China have the highest fraction of KETs oriented publications and patents in their national output. The Chinese State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) recorded in 2015 a half of the world patent applications related to KETs. Measured by their share of publications, the Asian countries exhibit a significantly more intensive R&D in the majority of KETs. Whereas the patent activity of the Asian countries grows the number of patent applications in the EU stagnates in the recent years and EU visibly lags behind the Asian competitors. The EU R&D policies and strategies aimed at the promotion of KET and the financial support does not seem exhibiting visible effects. In the Czech republic KETs became an organic component of the National Research and Innovation Strategy for the intelligent specialisation (National RIS3 strategy) and a number of targeted public financing programmes support KETs related projects. The situation in the Czech Republic has been evolving in a positive way between 2008 and 2016. Both the number of publications and patent applications related to KETs has been increasing and the growth dynamics approaches the Asian countries. The number of publications per research worker in the Czech Republic is on par with the EU. Due to a stronger growth in recent years of the number of patent applications in comparison to EU the Czech republic reached the EU average per researcher and the fraction of the KETs related applications surpasses the EU average and even some developed countries.

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Legal analysis of the new register of research organizations

Abstract

In the middle of 2017 the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports published a new register of research organizations as part of an ongoing effort to establish, within the framework of the Czech Republic state administration, a central body responsible for assessing the defining attributes of research organizations, thereby removing the need for each grantor to conduct such assessment individually. The consequence of this measure is to effectively replace the existing register maintained by the Research, Development and Innovation Council, which essentially has no legal relevance compared to this new register. Successful completion of the assessment is a requirement for research organizations to obtain funding not considered to be state aid therefore the existence of a legally binding register is crucial even though the above mentioned authorities do not perceive it this way. This approach questions the future of the register itself underscored by the fact that it has been marred by legislative errors. However, the register now works and more than 112 entities (updated to 14th of December 2017) are registered and available for grantors to use to assess beneficiaries. The aim of this article is presentation with its legal substance and analysis of its meaning for potential registrants, especially in the context of providing grants, including the relevant issues.

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