Empirical evidence of innovation award competitions in Finland
Innovation awards have for long attracted policy makers as a method for innovation promotion. Still, academic research on innovation awards has thus far received little attention. In particular, empirical studies on the motives to enter award competitions and the realized impacts of winning an innovation award are scarce. This study addresses this research gap. Firm-level evidence, questionnaire data on innovation award winning companies of the Finnish national Innofinland and Quality Innovation of the Year award competitions, indicate that the motives for companies to participate in award competitions and the realized impacts of winning an award are largely the same: media coverage and a credibility boost. The importance of innovation awards in innovation policy was, however, considered only as mediocre or modest. As a conclusion it can be stated that innovation awards are an additional tool for innovation promotion, alongside innovation inducement policies including tax reductions and direct funding, as they produce significant positive effects for the award winning companies, and an additional indicator of innovation quality in the context of knowledge cities.
Expert Systems With Applications, 2014, Vol 41, Issue 12, p. 5597-5604