Where and How Are Research and Innovation Fostering Job Creation?

Friday, February 15, 2013: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 311 (Hynes Convention Center)

Like the United States and Japan, Europe focuses its strategy on research and innovation (R&I) as its best means to get out of the economic crisis, address the societal challenges, and return to a sustainable growth model. Economic figures seem to support this strategy: European countries that invest more in R&I are recovering faster from the crisis. But will the generation of economic growth through investments in R&I also create sufficient new jobs in host countries? The R&I strategies of Japan, the United States, and the European Union hold a promise of increased job creation, but all three are facing a hollowing of their mass production industries as these industries continue to shift to the emerging economies. The three have therefore looked to move up the value chain, which can include a move towards innovation-driven quality-sensitive production. But some leading technological innovations have not always led to the creation of direct jobs in their host countries: Apple, Google, and Facebook have enormous valuations but few jobs in the United States, although they have spurred the creation of indirect jobs. Furthermore, some innovations clearly aim at reducing human resources, energy, or health costs, but their effect on net job creation is either negative or remains unclear. We might agree that there is an “unreasonable effectiveness” of the scientific enterprise in creating economic growth, but can R&I contribute to net job creation within the countries that invest most? What are the prerequisites for this to be the case?

Florent Bernard, European Commission - Directorate General for Research and Innovation
Clara de la Torre, European Commission, Directorate General for Research and Innovation
Luc Soete, Maastricht University, United Nations University
Innovating Out of the Crisis: On the Need for Radical Institutional Change
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