This chapter summarises the key issues of innovation policy in the new EU member and candidate countries (NMCCs). Their recovery and growth has not led to the automatic recovery of demand for R&D and technology. Innovation processes still seem very much focused on the mastery and use of machinery and equipment, with a limited R&D component. Technology effort in the NMCCs is still very much concentrated on the mastery of production capability, with important policy implications.
Innovation policy has only recently re-emerged in the CEECs after having been relegated to a secondary role during the transition process. The early to middle 1990s saw the focus of innovation policy in the NMCCs to be much on so-called bridging institutions (academy-industry relations, S&T parks, commercialisation issues). Overall, the effects of these policy efforts have been disappointing due to several analysed factors.
In order to be effective, innovation policies in the CEECs should recognise the structural weaknesses of their individual innovation systems. This will require a search for country-specific solutions, as opposed to the rather imitative mode that has so far prevailed.
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