Title: Innovation among SMEs: evidence from the Yorkshire and Humber region

Authors: Felix Kumi-Ampofo, Catherine M. Brooks

Addresses: European Regional Business and Economic Development Unit (ERBEDU), Faculty of Business and Law, Leeds Metropolitan University, 25 Queen Square, Leeds LS2 8AF, UK. ' European Regional Business and Economic Development Unit (ERBEDU), Faculty of Business and Law, Leeds Metropolitan University, 25 Queen Square, Leeds LS2 8AF, UK

Abstract: Yorkshire and The Humber is regarded as lagging in economic terms. Productivity is lower than the UK average, and the region trails other English regions in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship. This paper arises from a study, funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF 2), assessing levels of innovation in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across a range of sectors in the region. The study found a number of innovation-active SMEs, with the sample closely resembling the innovation-active subgroup within the UK Community Innovation Survey. Many SMEs lacked formal internal mechanisms for instigating and controlling innovation activities. External collaboration was most commonly focused around core value chain activities, and was rarely with universities. Innovation was mostly funded internally. One implication of this study is that delivering innovation support on a cluster basis, with an emphasis on Research and Development (R&D) in science and technology, is not necessarily the best approach.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; innovation; research and development; R&D; regional development; UK; United Kingdom; industry clusters.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2009.025696

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2009 Vol.8 No.4, pp.516 - 533

Available online: 23 May 2009 *

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