|dc.description.abstract||Background and methodology
There is a lack of knowledge about how
policies can support thriving of high-growth
innovative enterprises (HGIEs). This report
analyses policies for HGIEs in eight countries:
Germany, France, United Kingdom, Poland,
Switzerland, USA, South Korea and Japan.
Primary data was collected in March 2013 in
a survey of 580 HGIEs in these countries.
High growth was defined as at least one third
increase in employment in three consecutive
years in the past five years. Primary and
secondary data was used for an analysis of
The HGIEs assessed most framework
conditions for doing business as neutral or
rather harmful – there is considerable room
for policy improvements. Company taxation
and labour market regulation were
judged most critically.
The majority of HGIEs saw some need or
even strong need for governmental
policy to improve business conditions.
This applies particularly to innovation-related
issues like skills development, enterprise
R&D, and IP protection. A need for policy
adjustments seem to be less pressing in
Germany, the UK, Switzerland and the US
and higher in France, Poland and Korea.
41% of HGIEs said they used specific state
support measures. The share was found to be
considerably higher in the EU countries
(49%) than in the non-EU countries (27%).
Almost all HGIEs assessed the support as
helpful. Apparently, HGIEs welcome any
type of support as long as it improves
their balance sheet.
10% of the HGIEs reported to have been
located in a science or research park; of
these 74% found it helpful. 6% said they
were located in an incubator or
accelerator; thereof 62% found it helpful.
No harmful experiences were reported for
Germany‘s most notable measure for HGIEs
is a high-tech startup fund. German HGIEs
tended to assess framework conditions as
neutral and they do not see much need for
state policy. 55% made use of state support
measures. A key characteristic of Germany’s
enterprise landscape may be steadily growing
“hidden champions” and a strong
“Mittelstand” rather than HGIEs.
France has been operating several policies
for HGIEs and is currently redefining its
support measures for HGIEs. The share of
HGIEs using state support measures was the
highest of all countries (62%). The country’s
high share of HGIEs does however apparently
not translate into high GDP growth.
The United Kingdom has policies for HGIEs,
focussing on access to finance and improving
(management) skills. The share of HGIEs
having used state support is well below
average (33%). The UK is a sample country
with a comprehensive approach for fostering
HGIEs, notably with the recently introduced
Poland is currently developing measures to
support HGIEs. Polish HGIEs were particularly
critical about business framework conditions
in their country (regulation for starting,
running and growing a firm in particular),
except regulations about access to capital.
There are no HGIE-specific policies in
Switzerland but Swiss HGIEs were most
positive about framework conditions in their
country. The share of HGIEs having used
state support was the lowest. Switzerland
offers insightful cases of successful highgrowth
US: The share of HGIEs that used state
support was low (31%). US HGIEs tended to
assess business framework conditions as
more harmful than HGIEs in other countries.
An unfavourable business cycle was found to
be a more important barrier than elsewhere.
The countries’ best-known HGIEs are not
rooted in support programmes.
HGIEs in Korea judged framework conditions
more positive than in other countries but
blamed policy focus on large firms. Use of
state measures was below average. In recent
years Korea has started shifting its policies
away from fostering SMEs in general – which
were found to reward staying small – towards
Japan does not have specific policies for
HGIEs. An SBIR programme introduced in
1999 was found to be rather ineffective.
Governments seeking to support HGIEs
should consider HGIE characteristics such
as older age, possible spin-off origin as well
as national and sectoral specificities. Policies
should be fine-tuned to improve framework
conditions (in particular company taxation
and labour law), target key barriers for
growth (especially regulations for starting
and growing a company, difficult access to
finance, a lack of skilled employees), and
foster key growth factors (e.g. fostering
the ability and readiness to actively target
growth) as well as internationalisation of
HGIEs (because most of them currently focus
on national markets). A focus on highgrowth
coaching and expanding related
networks across Europe may be worthwhile
Tentatively, the following policy measures
from the countries surveyed might be
considered as good practice for fostering
HGIEs: The High-Tech Start-up Fund in
Germany, the GrowthAccelerator programme
in the UK, and CTI Start-up coaching in
However, a lack of policy evaluation is a key
issue. There is as yet only little scientific
evidence about the effectiveness and
efficiency of specific HGIE support
measures on which recommendations to
adopt apparently successful measures from
one country to another could be based.
However, the number and scope of policy
measures for HGIEs as well as the time of the
policies’ establishment are increasing, and
awareness for policy evaluation is apparently
also enhancing. Thus the scientific base for
assessing HGIE policies may become more