IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation 07/2009
This report discusses business R&D in SMEs in the light of a systematic review of publicly available information on industrial R&D, its common trends and related emerging issues. A number of factors towards better understanding of SME trajectories, specifics in terms of their R&D activities, and the attendant main challenges of SMEs are thus examined along their main boundaries. Company size, the life cycle stage of individual firms, the lack of entrepreneurial spirit in the EU, the lack of access to finance in Europe compared to the US, limited capabilities of SMEs, internationalisation/globalisation effects, intellectual property rights, and the effect of administrative burdens are considered in particular. In general, achieving a suitable support mix for business R&D in SMEs and embedding it in local, regional, national and European research and innovation systems remains an open but crucial question on the way towards achieving the Lisbon objectives.