Biagi F., Valbonesi P. (2016).
Incentivising innovation and adoption of ICT: ICT innovation voucher programmes. JCR Technical Reports, European Commision.
This report discusses analyses ICT Innovation vouchers and provides insights on how such instruments can be used to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and adopting information communication technology (ICT) and digital innovation in order to enhance their competitiveness and growth. This report suggests that the effectiveness of ICT innovation voucher programmes are affected by the granting government’s choices, which should be grounded on a preliminary analysis of SMEs’ needs in the region/area considered. In particular, referring to the SMEs’ ICT-based innovation and digital needs, it would be useful to map the actual ‘level’ of ICT adoption and diffusion among local firms (SMEs in particular) in order to gain a better understanding of the ICT services and applications that could improve firms’ competitiveness and growth, especially by stimulating product, process, organisational and marketing innovation. By defining the firms’ needs and the goals of the programme, this preliminary analysis can also highlight the specific competences required from actors – the “Knowledge Service Providers” (KSPs) – supplying and developing the ICT applications supported by the ICT innovation voucher programme. The report also discusses vouchers implementation, and it examines best practices. Indicators for additionality (i.e. input, output and behavioural) and their information needs are also illustrated. Moreover, in the aim to evaluate the vouchers’ impact, we also discuss how to perform a counterfactual analysis for an ICT innovation voucher programme.