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Mobilizing Egyptian Innovation System for SMEs Innovation Capabilities (MEIS-SME)

  • Project description:

In Egypt, increased efforts have recently been made to implement targeted innovation support for SMEs. However, the institutional arrangements and innovation policies are often top-down structured or attempt to transfer concepts from outside the EU, in many cases without considering the specific characteristics of the Egyptian innovation context. In particular, there is a lack of empirical work that analyses the innovation activities of SMEs and prepares results for policymakers in a way that makes policies appropriate for the targeted groups of SMEs.

Therefore, the research project aims at (1) conducting a detailed analysis of the innovation behavior of Egyptian SMEs and developing an SME typology, (2) describing the problems and needs of the identified innovation types, and (3) examining existing support measures accessible to SMEs in a policy analysis concerning their adaptability. The main objective is to map and describe the Egyptian SME innovation behavior and establish a toolbox of innovation-oriented SME policies that target Egyptian SMEs' unique needs. Based on a representative stratified sample covering 4,000 Egyptian firms and all sectors, we develop a resource-based taxonomy of firm-level innovation behavior to create and design functional innovation policies.

Overall, the analysis will be based on a broad understanding of innovation which includes technological and non-technological modes. It is assumed that different innovation patterns, which range from the traditional "science technology-innovation" to other modes of "doing-using-interacting" or even mixed-modes, can be identified. This taxonomy of firm-level innovation behavior will improve the Egyptian capacity of evaluating and monitoring SME's innovation performance and is also an essential prerequisite for the design of evidence-based innovation policies. The results allow for an evidence-based discussion of recommendations and the derivation of concrete innovation policy measures. In addition, the results will serve as a basis for the scientific debate on innovation policy approaches in the MENA region.

Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT)
Management Center Innsbruck (MCI)
Nile University (NU)