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Title: Innovation and competitiveness in the European Union countries

Authors: Milja Marčeta; Štefan Bojnec

Addresses: Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Masarykova 16, Ljubljana, Slovenia ' Faculty of Management, University of Primorska, Cankarjeva 5, Koper, Slovenia

Abstract: This paper examines innovation performance in association with competitiveness development in the European Union (EU) countries. The innovation factor indicators are linked to the global competitiveness index (GCI). The two set hypotheses are tested: first, that expenditure for research and development (R&D) in a company, and university-industry collaboration in researches affect GCI. Second, that the relationships exist between the GCI and innovation factor indicators, but there is a different strength of the connection. A special focus of the analysis is on the two sub-periods: during the economic crisis in the years 2008-2013 and the post-economic crisis in the years 2014-2017. The research contributes to a better understanding of the relationships between expenditures for R&D in a company, university-industry collaboration in researches, and the GCI. The results also confirmed a positive correlation, but different strength of the connection between the GCI and other analysed innovation factor variables such as innovation capacity, quality of research institutions, availability of scientists, a number of registered patents applications, and government procurement of advanced technology products. The results suggest that gross domestic product per capita is positively correlated with innovation factor indicators and the GCI.

Keywords: competitiveness; innovation performance; global competitiveness index; GCI; European Union.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSE.2021.113316

International Journal of Sustainable Economy, 2021 Vol.13 No.1, pp.1 - 17

Received: 02 Jun 2020
Accepted: 12 Oct 2020

Published online: 19 Feb 2021 *

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