Working Title of Thesis:
Lowering firms’ barriers to research and innovation: A study of financial and non-financial constraints.
Financial and non-financial constraints are critical barriers to firm-level research and innovation (R&I). Public policy interventions can help firms to overcome these constraints, which is crucial for increasing the pool of innovative firms, and for promoting more R&I amongst these firms. Public financial support for R&I, in particular, is widely regarded as a critical policy intervention to ameliorate firms’ financial constraints. However, our understanding of the specific policy interventions/intruments that can address firms non-financial constraints, such as a lack of knowledge and experience for R&I (i.e. knowledge constraints) and unfavourable market conditions (i.e. market constraints), remains limited. This research explores if, by encouraging firms to engage more in R&I, public financial support can also have an indirect effect on firms’ non-financial constraints. Furthermore, it analyses if, by lowering firms’ financial and non-financial constraints, public financial support leads to more R&I amongst firms. The insights arising from this research are important for academics and policymakers alike as they can signal avenues for employing ‘old’ policies, such as the provision of public financial support for R&I, to address ‘new’ problems, such as firms failing to keep pace with rapidly evolving technologies and markets.