The international conference Economics of Innovation aims to bring together leading economists, research scientists, scientists involved in policy and funding, experts from tech transfer and R&D in industry as well as venture capitalists to determine the state-of-the-art in the field of economic theory of innovation. Together, we will stimulate interdisciplinary work and communication to better understand the innovation process.

Economics of Innovation

The efficient translation of scientific discovery into innovative products that benefit society is a major goal of many countries, in particular those without substantial natural resources. However, the processes involved in taking an idea or result to the market are quite varied and poorly understood. Furthermore, the economic theory is still fairly primitive and needs to be improved.

To develop new economic theory in this area it is important to understand the rate-limiting or critical steps at each stage of the process and then to carefully evaluate how different factors, such as agglomeration effects, globalization, or public financing of basic research, influence the outcome. This is particularly relevant in the information age, where science funding agencies promote open-access publication of basic research.

For this reason, an interdisciplinary effort is required to create a foundation for applying economic theory to the process of innovation. Improved economic theory should create a basis for a rational discussion about investments in scientific research and their value for the economy.

Topics such as entrepreneurial network, public funding of basic research, technology diffusion, international technology and research spillovers or the relation between industry and academic spillover will be discussed. Panel discussion on public policy, where is the public spending the most beneficial and where is work most needed on the economics of innovation will furthermore contribute to:

  • understand better in economical, scientific and philosophical terms the rationale behind investments in basic research, education and training;
  • set the ground for better theory to serve policy makers to take more informed decisions on public investments;
  • help improve planning and investment strategies to improve the efficiency of innovation.

The economic benefits of advancements in science, technology and innovation have been well documented, estimated by leading economists to have accounted for approximately half of U.S. economic growth over the last fifty years. Past government investments in the U.S. scientific and technological enterprise have fueled our economy, created new jobs, and ensured our global competitiveness and national security. At the same time, these investments have enabled the development of a system of U.S. research universities and national laboratories unmatched in the world.

Quote from the letter signed by 29 top U.S. scientific and higher-education organizations wrote to President-elect Donald Trump on November 23, 2016 urging him to quickly appoint a science adviser.