Innovation in Europe lacks 'creative destruction'

30th of September 2011
Innovation in Europe lacks 'creative destruction'

European innovation policies lack the 'creative destruction' widely accepted in the US, raising barriers for businesses seeking to find new ideas and applications, according to a report compiled by the Centre for European Reform, a British think-tank.

In the report, entitled 'Innovation: how Europe can take off', a series of academics give their opinions on Europe's approach to innovation policy and how it can be improved.

The report's authors all broadly agree that innovation is not the same as research and development. Increasingly, it has also become a democratic process with consumers as likely to contribute ideas as entrepreneurs and scientists.

Academics writing for the report claim 'creative destruction' - a process which requires old ideas and methodologies to be cleared away - is a prerequisite for innovation, whereas policymakers are more likely to be in favour of maintaining existing systems and incumbent companies.

One of the report's editors, Philip Whyte, says: "Policymakers, particularly in Europe, want to have their cake and eat it: they want innovation, but without the accompanying economic dislocation and social disruption."

The report claims that there is a fundamental problem surrounding the definition of innovation, even though the term is touted as the key to future economic growth.

 

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