Enterprise innovation in technology incubators and university business incubators in the context of Polish industry
Keywords:technology business incubator, university business incubator, product innovations, process innovations, R&D activities
Research Background: The development of fledgling enterprises, especially those associated with medium-high and high technology is not easy. They often need to develop from inception a born global strategy, which is a great challenge at the beginning of a new business. Therefore, there is a global phenomenon of incubation, which supports young enterprises in the early stages of development. In Poland, the institutional dimension of incubation (especially for enterprises associated with modern technologies) consists of technology incubators and university business incubators. Yet, scientific research con-ducted in the area of entrepreneurship incubation gives contradictory results - some assess their activity positively, others negatively.
Purpose of the article: Enterprises located in an incubator should allocate funds for R&D activities and create innovations to develop and gain market advantage. With this in mind, the purpose of the article is to check whether technology incubators and university business incubators contribute to an increase in the likelihood of conducting R&D activities and introducing product and process innovations.
Methods: The study was conducted on a sample of 1058 industrial enterprises distributed across 2 Polish NUTS level 2 regions: Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodships. It concerned innovative activity that enterprises conducted in 2014?2016. Thanks to the use of probit modeling determination was made for the probability of introducing new products and conducting R&D works in entities that used the services of incubators in relation to those that did not belong to them.
Findings & Value added: Econometric modeling revealed that in the studied regions incubators contribute to an increase in the introduction of product innovations by enterprises and in conducting R&D activities. Support for the process of implementing innovation occurred significantly more often only in the case where technology incubators were involved. At the same time, it was noticed that only academic incubators increased the chances of introducing product innovations on a global scale. This means that tenants of technology incubators are more innovative than entities outside them, but their innovations in terms of the level of novelty do not differ from innovations implemented in entities outside incubators. The conducted study indicated that the transfer of systemic solutions related to stimulating innovation from developed countries to catching-up countries may be successful. This is a guideline for local authorities to create incubators that allow for an increase in the level of innovation of the incubated enterprises.
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