INNOVATION VOUCHERS AS A MODERN FINANCIAL TOOL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SMES

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  Alla Ivashchenko

  Anna Kornyliuk

  Yevheniia Polishchuk

Abstract

The subject of the study is innovation vouchers as a modern tool to support "green" SME projects. Innovation vouchers are financial instruments that perform a number of functions for the development of SMEs. They can stimulate its cooperation between research institutes or universities in the development of innovations and implementation of innovative solutions. It can become an alternative more effective tool for the use of public funds. Innovation vouchers formed the basis of financial support for the implementation of the development strategy of the region in the context of smart specialization. In the countries of the Eastern Partnership, such tools are only part of the practice, while the OECD countries have been actively using them for more than 10 years. In this regard, it was decided to analyze existing SME support programs using innovation vouchers in OECD countries and to give practical recommendations for the implementation of foreign experience in the development of SME support policies in the Eastern Partnership countries. The main method of research is the analytical method. A critical analysis of the scientific literature and policy documents helped form the concept of the use of innovation vouchers by SMEs. The study analyzed 47 programs to support SMEs with innovation vouchers, which operated for 12 years (from 2008 to 2020). Both quantitative indicators (total value of the program with innovation vouchers, maximum voucher value, etc.) and qualitative data (target group, directions of innovation financing) were taken into account. Classification features of innovation vouchers, their target audience, distribution of programs among target group participants (SMEs, companies of different ages, universities, state research institutes, microbusinesses, incubators, gas pedals, science parks, etc.), cost of vouchers, validity of innovation vouchers were determined. The main conclusion may be that when introducing innovation vouchers as tools to support micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses, it must be taken into account that the circle of knowledge providers must be broad (it may include private and public research organizations, universities, and other relevant types of providers). The requirement for co-financing needs to be met as well in order to reduce the risks of inefficient use of funds. In addition, support for innovative enterprises should be broadcast at all levels: local and national. The following target stakeholder groups can benefit from the results of the study: research institutes, universities, SMEs, policy makers, government, NGOs involved in innovation support, etc.

How to Cite

Ivashchenko, A., Kornyliuk, A., & Polishchuk, Y. (2021). INNOVATION VOUCHERS AS A MODERN FINANCIAL TOOL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SMES. Baltic Journal of Economic Studies, 7(5), 78-87. https://doi.org/10.30525/2256-0742/2021-7-5-78-87
Article views: 314 | PDF Downloads: 194

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Keywords

financial instruments, SMEs, innovation vouchers, R&D

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