Increasing the national innovative capacity: Identifying the pathways to success using a comparative method

Dorian Proksch, Marcus Max Haberstroh, Andreas Pinkwart

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15 Citations (Scopus)


As national innovative capacity is one of the main drivers for long-term economic growth, several countries have tried to increase their capacity by applying a high-tech strategy and supporting this strategy with policies. A better knowledge of successful strategies could support these processes. Previous studies have identified various determinants for a high capacity, but have failed to analyze their interconnections and therefore to derive comprehensive strategies. Applying fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis to 17 European countries, we identified different paths leading to a high innovative capacity by combining various determinants. The paths were translated into innovation strategies. Rather than a single strategy, different strategies with the same outcome exist, thus allowing countries to choose the appropriate strategies on the basis of their preconditions. Applying the identified strategies to countries with a low innovative capacity, we found that the UK is strong in all areas except high-tech specialization. Ireland lacks a high share on education spending and venture capital, as do Italy and Spain, which also lack private R&D funding and a high base of journal publications. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Poland, and Portugal have only a few preconditions for raising their innovative capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-270
JournalTechnological forecasting and social change
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • National innovative capacity
  • National innovation system
  • Innovation strategy
  • Innovation within European Union
  • Innovation clusters
  • fsQCA

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