Friday, 4 September
Institutions and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Europe: Past, Present and Future
Prof. Magnus Henrekson explained that all too often policy makers simply copy-paste successful policies from other contexts and then fail at achieving the desired results.
The reason is that history matters and the evolution of institutions matters. And the European union has many different national histories and institutional arrangements. A big challenge in this project will be to search for the common roots and identify the foundations for our reform strategy. The stakeholders broadly accept this for a fact and do not challenge the importance of this work package but the research questions also do not resonate. That is, they do not immediately provoke responses as the questions are a bit remote from everyday practice. Jack Harding did remark that like the EU the USA has 50 very different states and entrepreneurial ecosystems. To design a grand strategy for such a diverse continent would be ridiculous.
Prof. Henrekson then discussed the issue of institutional competition in which better arrangements gradually get adopted broadly as their success is established. And this will also be the way in which FIRES-proposals can ever be adopted. In an institutional competition our proposal will have to prove their value. The EU cannot enforce a grand strategy, even if it wanted to. Ken Krull then added that, in contrast to the EU, there are some uniform programs in the US that do provide a consistency across US states when it comes to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and its institutional preconditions. Federal programs like SBIR were mentioned as examples.