Financing innovation: an historical approach

Par Jean Matouk
Two eras can be distinguished in the history of innovation: era of inventor and era of researcher, even if they recover one another partially. During the first era R&D was rather “reactive”; the inventor imagining solutions to technical problems, especially in manufactures (textile, steam and locomotives...). During the second era, the R&D is rather “pro-active”; being initiated more and more to find new products able to generate turnover. The types of finance also changed between the two eras. During the first, own saving, family saving and help of associates were the only ways to finance innovation. In the second one, big firms’ self-financing and recently risk-capital are more important. Although the part of R&D spending in GDP is well correlated with part of them issued from firms, the part of administration will probably increase in the future with the increase of risk and the necessity of a long term view.
JEL codes: N20, O14, O31
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