The impact of Covid-19 on innovation policies promoting Open Innovation

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Since the eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, in response to the global health emergency, governments have focused on designing policies aimed at the development of more innovative products and services. Effective collaboration, communication, and Open Innovation (OI) between government organizations, education and research institutions, and the marketplace have been fundamental to the success of each country's response during the crisis period. Using a comprehensive data set from OECD on innovation policies implemented by governments before and during the Covid-19 crisis, this paper analyses the extent to which these innovation policies promote OI and how these policy decisions evolve to support an effective response to the pandemic. Through a cluster analysis, we identify four possible government innovation policy strategies (centralizers; conservative OI promoters; collaborative supporters; open collaborators) and analyze how these strategies evolve before and during Covid-19. Our findings confirm that even though there is an increased use of innovation policies promoting OI during the crisis, there is little evidence of consistency between the policy strategy used pre-Covid and during the crisis for each country. However, there is an increased use of four types of innovation policy instruments, i.e., those entailing formal consultation with stakeholders and experts; fellowships and postgraduate loans and scholarships; networking and collaborative platforms; and dedicated support to research infrastructures. Although the paper limits the scope of the analysis to the early government reactions in selected OECD countries, it captures an important moment in time (i.e., reaction to a severe shock), which opens avenues for future studies.



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