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KEF VI: Technology Acquisition and Knowledge Networks The Role of Government: Building Absorptive Capacity KEF VI: Technology Acquisition and Knowledge Networks The Role of Government: Building Absorptive Capacity in Europe and Central Asia April 17, 2007 Mr. Itzhak Goldberg Lead Specialist Europe and Central Asia Region World Bank

The Importance of Innovation and Absorption for Growth Output Growth Labor Capital Human Capital The Importance of Innovation and Absorption for Growth Output Growth Labor Capital Human Capital Absorption Innovation Investment Climate Education R&D Competition Training Brain circulation Trade & FDI IPR & Knowledge Brokers Corporate Governance Financial Discipline 2

Definition: Absorptive Capacity From Absorption to Innovation: New to the Firm versus New to Definition: Absorptive Capacity From Absorption to Innovation: New to the Firm versus New to the World Absorptive capacity: Firm’s capacity to assess the value of external knowledge and technology and make necessary investments and organizational changes to absorb and apply this in its productive activities Examples of absorption: Adopt new product, process, Upgrade old product, process; Quality certification, Technology license 3

Product v. Process Innovation • Product Innovation - development of new products representing discrete Product v. Process Innovation • Product Innovation - development of new products representing discrete improvements over existing ones. • Process Innovation - redesign of products, services; reorganization of layouts, transport modes, management, HR • Dual economies: India’s and Israel’s islands of ICT or hi-tech in laggard conventional industry 4

Main Channels of Absorption Learning & Brain Circulation Trade & FDI Absorption IPR & Main Channels of Absorption Learning & Brain Circulation Trade & FDI Absorption IPR & Knowledge Brokers R&D 5

Channel I: Trade and Supply Networks and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) • Imports of Channel I: Trade and Supply Networks and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) • Imports of machinery & equipment • Knowledge spillover from exporting to R&D -rich firms/countries • FDI → “vertical spillovers” for suppliers (e. g. Lithuania), export diversification 6

Channel II: Learning and Brain Circulation • Tertiary education and training by firms → Channel II: Learning and Brain Circulation • Tertiary education and training by firms → specialized skills to enable innovation • Instead of brain-drain, return migration → brain circulation → skills & entrepreneurship • India ICT example: Graduates of Public Technology Institutes (IITs) emigrated before 1990; Liberalization → return expats - key to Brain Circulation and ICT miracle 7

Channel III: Intellectual Property (IP) and Knowledge Brokers • Licensing technology → reduce absorption Channel III: Intellectual Property (IP) and Knowledge Brokers • Licensing technology → reduce absorption cost compared to “imitating around” IPR • Clearer IPR → reduce transaction costs for public-private and private-private technology transfers • Knowledge brokers → complementary transfer of tacit knowledge Eg: Israeli incubators help Russian scientist-immigrants to commercialize new ideas 8

Channel IV: Research and Development • R&D for absorption, not JUST for innovation -- Channel IV: Research and Development • R&D for absorption, not JUST for innovation -- the “second face” of R&D à la Cohen and Liebenthal (1990) • R&D output does not flow automatically or costlessly from developed countries to developing countries. China invests massively in R&D 9

Micro Firm-level Incentives: FDI Case study – Slovenian Aluminum firm “ Impol” bought Serbian Micro Firm-level Incentives: FDI Case study – Slovenian Aluminum firm “ Impol” bought Serbian “Seval” in 2002 – Post privatization: production increased by 3. 5 times, productivity by 7. 2 times and wages increased by 20% – Why? “Brownfield” FDI changes micro firmlevel incentives. More tomorrow at 2 PM from my colleague Dr. Goddard. 10

Measuring Absorption in ECA • Overview of WB econometric study of absorption using BEEPS Measuring Absorption in ECA • Overview of WB econometric study of absorption using BEEPS surveys of enterprises in ECA • Absorption--adopting new and improved products and manufacturing technologies-- is more likely for firms that: – Transition to export status increasing theirabsorption by about 33%, – Form JV with a multinational increasing their absorption by 41% 11

Role of Government – the Why? Market failures may justify government intervention to stimulate Role of Government – the Why? Market failures may justify government intervention to stimulate absorptive capacity in private sector BUT Policy design needs to account for government failures: capture, corruption, misaligned incentives AND… 12

Pre-requisites for Intervention • Skills and Human Capital – India: Early publicly financed education Pre-requisites for Intervention • Skills and Human Capital – India: Early publicly financed education critical importance • Investment Climate and Governance – Russia: Poor investment climate (weak competition, red tape); governance: corruption, regional government capture by business 13

The How of Government Intervention? Governments can support absorption via: 1. Role : I The How of Government Intervention? Governments can support absorption via: 1. Role : I Regulatory interventions to improve the policy environment for absorption – Entry, Financial Discipline, Exit, Mobility , Barriers to FDI, Trade: Non-Tariff-Barriers, Customs, Standards, Quality Certification and IPR Enforcement 2. Role IICommitment of public funds – financial and : institutional instruments - next. 14

Which financial instruments? • Matching grants: preserve private risk, no crowding out • Soft Which financial instruments? • Matching grants: preserve private risk, no crowding out • Soft loans: maturity deters risk taking • Tax holidays: no profit to offset in SMEs • Guarantees: takes away risk (Source: WB ECA Study “Public Financial Support for Commercial Innovation”) 15

Which Institutional Instruments? Institutional instruments include: • Incubators • Technology parks • Technology transfer Which Institutional Instruments? Institutional instruments include: • Incubators • Technology parks • Technology transfer offices Pros and cons of different options: 1. Privately owned/managed & subsidized 2. Publicly owned & managed 3. Publicly owned & privately managed & subsidized 16

Transition 2 nd Phase Policy implications 17 Transition 2 nd Phase Policy implications 17

Summary and KEF VI Agenda • • Innovation v. absorption; Product v. Process The Summary and KEF VI Agenda • • Innovation v. absorption; Product v. Process The 4 channels: FDI/trade, skills, IP, R&D From Micro to Macro: Firm-level Incentives The Why of Intervention Pre-requisites for Intervention The How: regulate and/or subsidize? Financial and/or institutional instruments 18