The role of cities in decentralization of national policies on science, technology and innovation

  • Newton Braga Rosa
  • Yeda Swirski de Souza
Keywords: regional economy, digital economy, science and technology management, public policies, federative decentralization, tech-based business ecosystems

Abstract

Purpose of the paper: This paper discusses decentralization of national public policies on Science, Technology, and Innovation (ST&I) from the federal to the city government.

Methodology: Empirical data is provided by the case studies of two Brazilian cities: Porto Alegre and São Leopoldo, which were selected because of their comparatively good results in promoting companies and ecosystems of innovation regarding other Brazilian cities.

Findings: The main conclusions of the study are: (a) federal government public policy promotion in ST&I remains crucial to the development of entrepreneurial technologically-based ecosystems; (b) municipalities are capable of mobilizing resources, structuring incentive mechanisms, articulating actors, and organizing governance systems; (c) decentralization via municipalities can improve capillarity and effectiveness, strengthening regional innovation systems and consequently complementing national ST&I policies; (d) increased political and economic power of city governments can promote improvements in federal policies of ST&I.

Research limits: This study requires further empirical validation and analysis of evidence of other initiatives of ST&I decentralization 

Practical implications: The study provides managerial implications suggesting how ST&I should be organized in a city to improve a tech-based business ecosystem.

Originality of the paper: Governments around the world have been supporting companies and innovation ecosystems because of their relevance to economic viability and national sustainable development. However, despite the increasing political, social, and economic relevance of cities worldwide, their role has been underestimated in national ST&I policies. In this context, this study considers how municipal decentralization of national ST&I policies enhances capillarity, efficiency, and the strengthening of regional systems of innovation.

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Published
2018-04-30