The project PICK-ME (Policy Incentives for the Creation of Knowledge: Methods and Evidence) is funded by the European Commission, within the 7th Framework Programme, Grant number 266959, Cooperation Program / Theme 8 / Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

The PICK-ME project aims at providing an original contribution to advancing the understanding of the mechanisms through which demand-based innovation policies may stimulate effective knowledge creation process, and eventually trigger competitiveness and productivity growth.

Indeed, in the context of the ongoing global economic crisis, the Keynesian tradition would suggest short run policies consisting in a generic sustain to aggregate demand, both through direct government procurement and through measures aimed at increasing available income for private customers. Such measures are by definition mainly designed to help economic systems to cope with short run shocks and do not allow to undertaking a long run sustained path of growth.

According to recent growth models and empirical evidence, innovation and knowledge creation represent the main factors able to affect the competitiveness and the long run perspective of growth of countries. However, innovation and technology policies have mainly been designed by relying on a supply side perspective. In view of this, the general aim of our activity is the grafting of innovation and technology policies in a demand-oriented framework.

The basic tenet of our project is that no demand policy can succeed if it is not coupled with effective policies aimed at supporting specifically the generation of technological knowledge and sequentially the eventual introduction of technological innovations. The poor appreciation of the central role of the generation of technological knowledge for the actual introduction of technological innovation and sequentially for the final growth of output can be considered the main cause for the failure of demand pull policies. Traditional demand-pull policies have been based upon the expectations of the automatic embodiment of superior technologies driven by investments. A demand-pull policy without a clear base upon knowledge&innovation policies may risk to stir just inflation. Demand policy can yield positive outcomes in terms of growth of output and total factor productivity only when and if it is coupled with a sequence of knowledge&innovation policies. There is no chance of success for a demand policy that is not based upon a well focused knowledge policy and coupled with an effective and directed innovation policy.

To this purpose, the research activity will consist of both theoretical models and empirical analyses, the results of which should be able to inform the policy design process. The research activity will be conducted by pursuing a great deal of multidisciplinarity, derived by the need to gain a deep understanding of the different contexts and sectors that will be analyzed, as well as by the different dimensions in which the project is articulated.

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