Research Policy (RES POLICY )

Publisher: Elsevier


Research and development (R&D) activities today absorb very considerable resources, and have great influence on the policies of industrial firms, government departments, universities and even whole nations. Research Policy is a multi-disciplinary journal devoted to the exploration of the policy problems posed by these R&D activities, and in particular their interaction with economic, social and political processes. Its papers are written by both academic observers and practitioners of the R&D process. It is deliberately international in scope and reaches an audience of academics, industrialists and government officials.Main Subjects Covered:Innovation, Company Strategy and Industrial Competition; Project Selection and R&D Management; National Policies towards Science and Technology; Social and Economic Effects of Science and Technology; Policies for Basic Research; International Cooperation; Developing Countries; Literature Surveys.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    Research Policy website
  • Other titles
    Research policy (Online), RP
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • Pre-print allowed on any website or open access repository
    • Voluntary deposit by author of authors post-print allowed on authors' personal website, or institutions open scholarly website including Institutional Repository, without embargo, where there is not a policy or mandate
    • Deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate only allowed where separate agreement between repository and the publisher exists.
    • Permitted deposit due to Funding Body, Institutional and Governmental policy or mandate, may be required to comply with embargo periods of 12 months to 48 months .
    • Set statement to accompany deposit
    • Published source must be acknowledged
    • Must link to journal home page or articles' DOI
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PubMed Central after 12 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper provides new empirical evidence about the impact of various technological policies upon firms’ innovative behaviour. We take into consideration the role of policies for innovative activities and we focus on their interaction. While supply-side policies such as R&D subsidies and tax credits have been both extensively discussed in the literature and empirically investigated, the analysis of innovative public procurement is a growing trend in the literature, which still lacks robust empirical evidence. In this paper, we replicate the existing results on supply-side policies, surmise fresh empirical evidence on the outcome of innovative public procurement, and address the issue of possible interaction among the various tools. When controlling for the interaction with other policies, supply-side subsidies cease to be as effective as reported in previous studies and innovative public procurement seems to be more effective than other tools. The preliminary evidence suggests that technology policies exert the highest impact when different policies interact.
    Research Policy 12/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyzes the competition for skilled human resources between European higher education institutions (HEI) through a multi-level model predicting their ability to attract foreign researchers. Predictions of the model are tested on a dataset on internationalization of 601 HEIs in 8 European countries. We show that (1) the model is able to explain a large proportion of the variance in the levels of internationalization of academic staff between HEIs; (2) country factors are more important than HEIs’ characteristics in driving internationalization; (3) research-oriented HEIs in attractive countries have a larger share of international staff, whereas this happens only to a limited extent with similar HEIs in low attractive countries; (4) the association of research orientation with internationalization is mediated by the HEI's international network. These results have relevant implications for HEI's hiring strategies, as well as for national policies concerning careers and the mobility of researchers. We suggest that policies should be tailored to structural conditions of HEIs and countries, whereas imitating the approaches of highly attractive places might be damaging. Less-attractive countries should rather focus on training and career opportunities for young national researchers, as well as on instruments to keep linkages with national expatriates.
    Research Policy 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: International knowledge spillovers, especially through multinational companies (MNCs), have recently been a major topic of academic and management debate. However, most studies treat MNC subsidiaries as relatively passive actors. We challenge this assumption by investigating the drivers of knowledge protection intensity of MNC subsidiaries. We argue that knowledge protection intensity is determined by MNC subsidiary mandates and by opportunities and risks originating from the host region. We hypothesize that not just competence-creating but also competence-exploiting mandates increase knowledge protection intensity. In addition, technological cluster regions in the host country can be expected to provide opportunities for knowledge sourcing and MNC subsidiaries may be willing to protect knowledge less intensively to participate in cluster networks. We test our hypotheses using a dataset of 694 observations of 631 MNC subsidiaries in Germany and develop recommendations for research, managers and policy makers.
    Research Policy 01/2015;
  • Research Policy 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Res. Policy (2014), The multi-level perspective on sustainability transitions positions established firms (incumbents) as defenders of existing technologies at the "regime level". By contrast, it positions new entrants at the niche level, as promoters of new technologies. This paper challenges the positioning of firms as actors on either regime or niche levels. Based on a comparative analysis of technology strategies in the heavy vehicle industry, the paper shows that established firms are active at both levels, developing several technology alternatives simultaneously. This means that incumbents’ technology strategies determine important parts of the required niche-regime interactions. The paper also shows how incumbents may pursue contrasting technology strategies. While some adopt a dualistic approach, keeping regime and niche level activities technologically and commercially separate, others develop integrated strategies where niche activities are leveraged to impact upon the regime level. The cases studied illustrate how the success of these integrated strategies depends on the emergence of bridging policies. Bridging policies are relevant both for linking early niche markets to broader regime-level markets, and for supporting the further technological advancements of niche markets.
    Research Policy 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper contributes to the debate on the dynamics of the development of practices and their relation to the emergence of collaborative communities of practitioners. Our research is situated in a university that was seeking to promote and stimulate interdisciplinary research collaborations through a number of initiatives. We are concerned both with characterizing the practices that make this kind of collaboration possible, and with the emergence of a community that creates and endorses such collaborative practices. Our findings provide insights in relation to two particular questions. First, we report on the development of interdisciplinary practices and the emergence of community. Second, we consider how support interventions undertaken by the university stimulated the development of those practices. We develop theoretical and practical insights in these areas.
    Research Policy 01/2015; 44:96-107.
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    ABSTRACT: Although prior research has highlighted the importance of academic collaborations in enhancing firms’ innovation performance, it has largely focused on developed countries. As a result, how academic collaborations influence innovation in emerging countries, which differ fundamentally from developed countries in their institutional environment, remains unclear. We contribute to this literature by examining how collaborations with universities and research institutes influence the ability of Chinese emerging market enterprises (EMEs) to develop innovations. Our analysis challenges the assumption of institutional homogeneity within a given country, showing that institutions evolve in different ways across sub-national Chinese regions. This uneven institutional evolution affects the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPRs), the level of international openness, the quality of universities and research institutes across regions and thus the degree to which Chinese EMEs benefit from academic collaborations. Our findings reveal that sub-national institutional variations have a profound impact on the relationship between academic collaborations and firms’ innovation performance, illustrate that some established assumptions are not valid in emerging countries, such as China, and offer insights into how EMEs can enhance their innovation performance.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Throughout economic history, institutions have established the rules that shape human interaction. In this sense, political, socio-cultural, and economic issues respond to particular forces: managed economy or entrepreneurial economy. In the entrepreneurial economy, the dominant production factor is knowledge capital that is the source of competitive advantage, which is complemented by entrepreneurship capital, representing the capacity to engage in and generate entrepreneurial activity. Thus, an entrepreneurial economy generates scenarios in which its members can explore and exploit economic opportunities and knowledge to promote new entrepreneurial phenomena that have not been previously visualised. In this context, the entrepreneurial university serves as a conduit of spillovers contributing to economic and social development through its multiple missions of teaching, research, and entrepreneurial activities. In particular, the outcomes of its missions are associated with the determinants of production functions (e.g. human capital, knowledge capital, social capital, and entrepreneurship capital). All these themes are still considerate potentially in the research agenda in academic entrepreneurship literature. This paper modestly tries to contribute to a better understanding of the economic impact of entrepreneurial universities’ teaching, research, and entrepreneurial activities. Taking an endogenous growth perspective, the proposed conceptual model is tested using data collected from 2005 to 2007 for 147 universities located in 74 Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics-3 (NUTS-3) regions of the United Kingdom. The results of this exploratory analysis show the positive and significant economic impact of teaching, research, and entrepreneurial activities. Interestingly, the higher economic impact of the United Kingdom's entrepreneurial universities (the Russell Group) is explained by entrepreneurial spin-offs. However, our control group composed by the rest of the country's universities, the highest economic impact is associated with knowledge transfer (knowledge capital).
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the relationship between R&D drivers and firm's age, taking into account the autoregressive nature of innovation. Using a large longitudinal dataset comprising Spanish manufacturing firms over the period 1990–2008, we find that previous R&D experience is a fundamental determinant for mature and young firms, albeit to a smaller extent in the case of younger firms, suggesting that their innovation behaviour is less persistent and more erratic. Moreover, our results suggest that firm and market characteristics play a distinct role in boosting the innovation activity of firms of different ages. In particular, while market concentration and the degree of product diversification are found to be important in fostering R&D activities in the subsample of mature firms only, young firms’ spending on R&D appears to be more sensitive to demand-pull variables. These results have been obtained using a recently proposed dynamic type-2 tobit estimator, which accounts for individual effects and efficiently handles the initial conditions problem.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Obtaining essential intellectual property rights (IPRs) is important for innovation and competition in the network industry, where technical standardization plays a critical role in development. In this study, we empirically investigate the determinants of essential IPRs for wireless communication standards using the patent database. In particular, we focus on the inventors’ involvement in technical standardization by identifying and collecting their patent applications.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We analyse the role of creative workers in the region as a source and foundational element of regional innovation in the European Union. We show the empirical relevance of this factor – which we label inspiration – within the structure of a recursive model of regional innovation for a set of 83 European regions. We show that, when differentiated from the presence of regional intelligence – as measured by the availability of human capital – and from technological infrastructure, inspiration, along with the degree of development of national and regional institutions, has the strongest direct and indirect effects on regional patenting activity.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Exaptation, the cooption of existing technologies for emergent functions, is an important but neglected mechanism for innovation. Exaptation may enable an existing technology to (a) construct a new technological niche, (b) enter into a preexisting niche, or (c) transform the internal architecture of an artifact without changing its function. In this article we analyze the relationship between exaptation and modularity and introduce the concept of modular exaptation. We thereby derive a model of modular exaptation, which leads to a discussion of technological change as a coupled interaction of modular exaptive and adaptive processes. Keypolicy implications close the article.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyses whether complementarity and substitutability of knowledge elements are key determinants of the firm's inventive performance, in addition to the more conventional measures of knowledge stock and diversity. Using patent data from 1968 to 2002 in the semiconductor industry, we find that the overall level of complementarity between knowledge components positively contributes to firms’ inventive capability, whereas the overall level of substitutability between knowledge components generally has the opposite effect. Yet a relatively high level of substitutability is found to be beneficial for explorative inventions. These results suggest that a firm's inventive capacity significantly depends on its ability to align its inventive strategies and knowledge base structure.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper quantitatively measures technological change in U.S. jet fighter aircraft from 1944 to the present day using the hedonic pricing approach. The technical and performance characteristics of jet fighters have changed dramatically between the time they were first developed at the beginning of the 1940s and the present. Parallel to this technological change there has been a sharp escalation in costs regarding the new generations of jet fighter aircraft. We estimate a measure of price for the performance and technical characteristics of these aircraft. Embodied technological change in jet fighter airframes is measured using quality-adjusted prices. Although the flyaway cost of jet fighter aircraft has soared, on average, by about 12.63% per year, the quality-adjusted aircraft cost has only risen by about 2.6% per year, a figure lower than the average observed general inflation rate for the period (around 4%). This represents an impressive average technological progress ratio of around 10% per year. A revealed preferences argument shows that the characteristic most valued by the government is stealth capability, followed by advanced avionics.
    Research Policy 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study explores the impact of governmental support policies on the innovation of SMEs in the regional strategic industries in South Korea. We use the technological development assistance funds as a proxy for governmental support policies for SMEs in the regional industries in Korea. The innovation of SMEs is measured by technological innovation: patent, utility model, trademark, and new design registrations. Before empirically testing the impact of governmental support policies on the innovation of SMEs, this study reviews the literature concerning the innovation and the governmental support policies of SMEs in regional industries. Results from empirical models, which simultaneously control for factors which were thought to affect the innovation of regional SMEs, indicate that a positive relationship exists among the technological development assistance by the Korean government and patent acquisitions and new design registrations of regional SMEs. Networks with universities also have a positive relationship with patent acquisitions and new design registrations of regional SMEs. This study suggests there is an importance to governmental financial aids for regional SME innovations, and there is an importance to the need to build a strong social relationship in today's networked economy.
    Research Policy 11/2014;