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Raising Private Sector R&D in the New Member States: Does it help their economies catching up?

  • Authors: Peter Voigt and Andries Brandsma
  • EUR Number: 23527 EN
  • Publication date: 10/2008


In general, evidence suggests that the current growth in the NMS seems to refer mainly to progressing structural changes, some emerging sectors, etc. and to an increasingly efficient allocation of production factors rather than to catching up in terms of R&D performance and getting closer to the technological frontier. But, although investment in R&D may currently appear to be only a minor source of economic growth in the NMS, with respect to the mid to long term perspectives of these countries the importance is supposed to be rising.
Given the distance of the NMS to the technological frontier and also the gap in terms of R&D intensity (Barcelona target) compared to the remainder of the EU, political emphasis might currently be more usefully on promoting easy access to, and absorption of, knowledge generated elsewhere accompanied with a sophisticated master plan for improving the existing R&D and innovation capacities systematically. In fact, making the NMS an attractive location for R&D appears to be a straightforward policy objective, but any corresponding measure should be embedded in an overall improvement of the institutional/environmental framework conditions in order to ensure sustainable investments in R&D in the NMS.

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