nep-sbm New Economics Papers
on Small Business Management
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
twenty papers chosen by
João Carlos Correia Leitão
Universidade da Beira Interior

  1. From automation to databased business models - Digitalization and its links to innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises By Thomä, Jörg; Bischoff, Thore Sören
  2. Distant but close in sight. Firm-level evidence on French-German productivity gaps in manufacturing By Thomas Grebel; Mauro Napoletano; Lionel Nesta
  3. The 2020 EU Survey on Industrial R&D Investment Trends By Lesley Potters; Nicola Grassano
  4. The 2020 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard By Nicola Grassano; Hector Hernandez; Alexander Tuebke; Sara Amoroso; Mafini Dosso; Aliki Georgakaki; Francesco Pasimeni
  5. Growing Through Spinoffs By Maurizio Iacopetta; Raoul Minetti; Pierluigi Murro
  6. The Heterogeneous Impacts of Higher Education Institutions on Regional Firm Location: Evidence from the Swiss Universities of Applied Sciences By Tobias Schlegel; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  7. Serial Entrepreneurs, the Macroeconomy and Top Income Inequality By Sónia Félix; Sudipto Karmakar; Petr Sedlácek
  8. Fostering innovation in Iceland for the digital era By Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou; Eunha Cho
  9. Between “Research Producers” and “Research Adopters”: The Role of Knowledge and Innovation Transfer on Sustainability Impact By Chams, Nour; Guesmi, Bouali; Gil, Jose M.; Molins, Mireia; Cubel, Rosa
  10. Financing Energy Innovation: Internal Finance and the Direction of Technical Change By Joëlle Noailly, Roger Smeets
  11. Higher Education for Smart Specialisation: A Handbook (Version 2.0) By Jayne Woolford; Mark Boden
  12. Revisiter l’innovation : la vulnérabilité organisationnelle des PME innovantes dans le secteur des sports outdoor By Bastien Soulé; Julie Hallé; Eric Boutroy; Bénédicte Vignal
  13. Place-based Innovation Ecosystems for emerging mobility-based business models By Miguel Ángel De Urquía; Ramón Compañó; Sergio Díez
  14. Study of The Relationship Between Public and Private Venture Capitalists in France: A Qualitative Approach By Jonathan Labbe
  15. Start-Up Subsidies and the Sources of Venture Capital By Hottenrott, Hanna; Berger, Marius
  16. The Cohesion spirit and EU policies: A scenario analysis By Nicholas-Joseph Lazarou; Javier Barbero; Andrea Conte; Francesca Crucitti; Simone Salotti
  17. Killer Aquisitions and Beyond: Policy Effects on Innovation Strategies By Schmutzler, Armin; Letina, Igor; Seibel, Regina
  18. Scale-up phase in deeptech start-ups: Replication or massive learnings? By Louise Taupin; Pascal Le Masson; Blanche Segrestin
  19. Family firm internationalization : Past research and an agenda for the future By Jean-Luc Arregle; Francesco Chirico; Liena Kano; Sumit K. Kundu; Antonio Majocchi; William S. Schulze
  20. Innovative Versorgungslösungen in ländlichen Regionen: Ergebnisse der Begleitforschung zum Modellvorhaben Land(auf)Schwung im Handlungsfeld „Daseinsvorsorge“ : Band 1 der Begleitforschung Land(auf)Schwung By Mettenberger, Tobias; Küpper, Patrick

  1. By: Thomä, Jörg; Bischoff, Thore Sören
    Abstract: Digitalization is one of the main trends affecting firm-level innovation today. In this context, a better understanding of the multidimensional relationship between digital technologies, competences and firm-level innovation is necessary. For this purpose, this paper examines the role of digital transformation in the context of innovation activities of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based on a systematic review of the fourth edition of the Oslo Manual and a subsequent qualitative content analysis (QCA) of interview data on innovating German SMEs, a category system is derived covering different facets of the digitalization-innovation link along seven main categories and 32 sub-categories. This category system is employed to analyze the interview data, with several findings pointing to the heterogeneity of innovating SMEs in terms of digitalization. It emerges that there tend to be two ideal types of "digitalizers" among innovating SMEs. On the one hand, process innovators using digital technologies and practices to generate efficiency and automation benefits, whereby they must build up basic digital competences within the firm to achieve this aim. On the other hand, product innovators with advanced competences in digitalizing their goods and services that have often already gained experiences in adopting a digital business model. The paper concludes with implications for innovation measurement, policy and further research.
    Keywords: Digitalization,Digital innovation,Innovation measurement,Qualitative content analysis,SMEs
    JEL: D22 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Thomas Grebel; Mauro Napoletano (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Lionel Nesta (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques - Sciences Po - Sciences Po)
    Abstract: We study the productivity level distributions of manufacturing firms in France and Germany, and how these distributions evolved across the Great Recession. We show the presence of a systematic productivity advantage of German firms over French ones in the decade 2003-2013, but the gap has narrowed down after the Great Recession. Convergence is explained by the better growth performance of French firms in the post-recession period, especially of those located in the top percentiles of the productivity distribution. We also highlight the role of sectoral growth, firm size and export intensity in explaining the above convergence. In contrast, the contribution of allocative efficiency was small.
    Keywords: international productivity gaps,productivity distributions,firm level comparisons
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Lesley Potters (European Commission - JRC); Nicola Grassano (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: This fifteenth Survey on Industrial R&D investment trends has been separated into two dedicated questionnaires, one related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic (45 responses) and one regular R&D Survey (61 responses). The participating EU firms expect R&D investment to rebound by 7% in 2021 after a small decrease in 2020. While the impact on employment (both R&D and non-R&D) for the financial year of 2020 is expected to be small, the impact on Capital expenditures and Net Sales show more negative expectations, with foreseen decreases of 4.5% and 5.9%.
    Keywords: Industrial R&D, top R&D investors, innovation, company performance, economic and innovation performance
    Date: 2021–10
  4. By: Nicola Grassano (European Commission - JRC); Hector Hernandez (European Commission - JRC); Alexander Tuebke (European Commission - JRC); Sara Amoroso (European Commission - JRC); Mafini Dosso (European Commission - JRC); Aliki Georgakaki (European Commission - JRC); Francesco Pasimeni (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The main objective of the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard (the Scoreboard) is to benchmark the performance of EU innovation-driven industries against main global counterparts. The 2020 edition of the Scoreboard analyses the 2500 companies investing the largest sums in R&D in the world in 2019. These companies, with headquarters in 43 countries and more than 800k subsidiaries all over the world, each invested over €34.7 million in R&D for a total of €904.2 billion. A main difference in the presentation of data in this Scoreboard edition regards the new composition of the EU following the departure of the UK on 31 January 2020. Henceforth, in this report, the EU is understood as EU27 (i.e. without the UK) and whenever the UK is included for comparative purposes, it will refer to EU28. The 2020 Scoreboard total R&D is equivalent to approximately 90% of the world’s business-funded R&D. The sample includes 421 companies based in the EU27, accounting for 20.9% of the total R&D in the sample, 775 US companies (38.5%), 309 Japanese companies (12.7%), 536 Chinese (13.1%) and 459 from the rest of the world (14.8%).This report analyses companies' R&D and economic indicators over the past years, focussing on the comparative performance of EU companies with respect to their global counterparts. In 2019, global corporate R&D continued to increase substantially, following the trends of the past years, despite a slowdown in companies’ sales and a decline in profits. This is the tenth consecutive year of R&D increases driven by R&D investments in ICT, Health and Automotive industries. Companies based in the EU27 increased significantly R&D (5.6%) but well below the US (10.8%) and Chinese companies (21%) rates. The impact of the covid-19 crisis is not yet reflected in this edition (2019 data), however, experience demonstrates the important role that R&D plays to tackle major socio-economic issues and to underpin the recovery. Indeed, past Scoreboard editions showed that companies sustaining or increasing R&D investment during previous crisis emerged with greatly improved competitive position in the upturn following the crisis. The Scoreboard results stress the need to step-up the implementation of EU policies aimed at supporting industrial R&D and innovation, especially to support the recovery of the covid-19 crisis and the industrial digital and green transitions.
    Keywords: Industrial R&D, top R&D investors, innovation, company performance, economic and innovation performance
    Date: 2021–10
  5. By: Maurizio Iacopetta (OFCE - Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques - Sciences Po - Sciences Po); Raoul Minetti (Michigan State University [East Lansing] - Michigan State University System); Pierluigi Murro
    Abstract: New firms are often based on ideas that the founders developed while working for incumbent firms. We study the macroeconomic effects of spinoffs through a growth model of product variety expansion, driven by firm entry, and product innovation. Spinoffs stem from conflicts of interest between incumbent firms' shareholders and employees. The analysis suggests that incumbents invest more in product innovation when knowledge protection is stronger. An inverted-U shape relationship emerges, however, between the intensity of spinoff activities and the strength of the rule of law. A calibration experiment indicates that, with a good rule of law, loosening knowledge protection by 53 reduces product innovation by one fifth in the short run and one seventh in the long run, but boosts the spinoff rate by one tenth and one sixth in the short and long run, respectively. Nevertheless, per capita income growth drops and welfare deteriorates. The trade-offs are broadly consistent with evidence from Italian firms.
    Keywords: Corporate governance,Endogenous growth,Spinoffs
    Date: 2020–04–29
  6. By: Tobias Schlegel; Uschi Backes-Gellner
    Abstract: The empirical literature on knowledge spillovers provides evidence that higher education institutions (HEIs) have positive effects on regional firm location, i.e., the number of start-ups or firms located in a region. However, less is known about how HEIs in different fields of study impact regional firm location in different industries. To estimate effects on firm location in different industries, we exploit the establishment of universities of applied sciences (UASs)-bachelor degree-granting three-year HEIs in Switzerland-in different fields of study. We find that effects are heterogeneous and UASs specializing in "chemistry and life sciences" and "business, management, and services" are the only UASs that positively affect regional firm location. These positive effects are limited to service industries that are characterized by both radical service innovations and incremental product and process innovations.
    Keywords: Higher Education and Research Institutions, Government Policy, Regional Economic Development
    JEL: I23 I28 O18
    Date: 2021–11
  7. By: Sónia Félix; Sudipto Karmakar; Petr Sedlácek
    Abstract: Are serial entrepreneurs – owners of multiple firms – important for understanding the sources and aggregate consequences of business dynamism? Using unique administrative data, we show that – compared to other businesses – firms of serial entrepreneurs are larger, more productive, grow faster, exit less often and disproportionately contribute to aggregate job creation and productivity growth. Moreover, even the very first firms of serial entrepreneurs feature these “premia”, suggesting an important role of innate abilities, rather than luck or learning. Finally, we show theoretically and quantitatively that serial entrepreneurship is also important for understanding and modelling of top income inequality.
    JEL: D22 E24 L1
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou; Eunha Cho
    Abstract: Iceland is an innovative country, but has untapped innovation potential. Strengthening innovation, especially in the ICT area, is crucial for strong productivity growth and performance in an increasingly digitalised world, as well as a sustained recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring more effective public support for business R&D is important. The R&D tax incentive scheme is generous by international comparison, but take-up has been low and many smaller firms have not been inclined to innovate. Following increased support, outcomes need to be monitored regularly. Adopting new technologies is also essential for stronger innovation outcomes. Competition-friendly framework conditions are key to sharpening firms’ incentives to adopt advanced technologies. The public sector too could become more digitalised. The education system needs to provide relevant skills. Participation of adult workers, especially the less educated, in re-skilling and up-skilling programmes should increase further. At the same time, business and universities need to collaborate more to maximise knowledge flows, with important benefits for innovation and society.
    Keywords: collaboration, digital, innovation, productivity, R&D, skills, tax incentives, technologies
    JEL: J24 O3 O32 I23
    Date: 2021–11–04
  9. By: Chams, Nour; Guesmi, Bouali; Gil, Jose M.; Molins, Mireia; Cubel, Rosa
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2021–08
  10. By: Joëlle Noailly, Roger Smeets
    Abstract: Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and of climate neutrality by 2050 in the European Union will require mobilizing financial investments towards clean energy innovation. This study examines the role of internal finance (cash flows and cash holdings) and financing constraints for innovation in energy technologies. We construct a dataset for 1,300 European firms combining balance-sheet information and patenting activities in renewable (REN) and fossil-fuel (FF) technologies and estimate the sensitivity of patenting activities to firm’s internal finance. We use count estimation techniques and control for a large set of firm-specific characteristics and market developments in REN and FF technologies. We find that patenting activities of firms specialized in REN innovation are significantly more sensitive to a shock in cash flows than firms specializing in FF innovation. Hence, our results emphasize that innovative firms in clean energy may be particularly vulnerable to financing constraints. We discuss the implications of these results for energy transition policies aiming to redirect finance towards clean energy R&D.
    Date: 2021–11–02
  11. By: Jayne Woolford (European Commission - JRC); Mark Boden (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The Higher Education in Smart Specialisation (HESS) project has been developed in collaboration with DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC) since 2016 and seeks to engage stakeholders from Higher Education in regional development processes and regional innovation ecosystems to ensure places contribute to local and broader European growth and transformation. This Handbook is the result of more than four years of analysis and cooperation with regions on how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can contribute to the design and implementation of Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3), as part of the 'Higher Education for Smart Specialisation' (HESS) project. The first edition of this handbook was published in October 2018. This learning journey has since continued and is now entering a new phase, with a new EU multiannual financial framework for the period 2021- 2027, new policy priorities and new funding instruments. In particular, Smart Specialisation is evolving, with a new enabling condition for the good governance of smart specialisation with seven fulfilment criteria aimed at enhancing the refinement and implementation of S3. Higher Education and human capital more generally can play an important role in meeting these criteria. Against this background, it is clearly time for a second edition of the handbook. This new edition retains the core aim of supporting both regions and HEIs in the implementation of smart specialisation and the effective dissemination and application of knowledge through cooperation as well as the supply of high-quality human capital. It also builds on the valuable guidance presented in the first edition, supplemented by new evidence and analysis to support understanding of and alignment with the new criteria. As with the first edition, this Handbook has been informed largely by the HESS case studies but this updated version is based upon further knowledge co-created with regions and HEIs and takes on board feedback from both national and regional authorities as well as HEIs.
    Keywords: Higher Education, Smart Specialisation
    Date: 2021–10
  12. By: Bastien Soulé (L-VIS - Laboratoire sur les Vulnérabilités et l'Innovation dans le Sport (EA 7428) - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon); Julie Hallé; Eric Boutroy; Bénédicte Vignal
    Abstract: While innovating is likely to procure competitive advantage within the industry of sports goods, it is also a risky activity which may lead to damaging consequences for companies. It therefore seems relevant to take an interest in the potential detrimental effects of innovation processes within small, particularly creative, companies in the sports sector. In this paper, we seek to know if, and how, engaging in an innovation process leads to singular forms of organizational vulnerability. Case studies were carried out in five small or medium-sized French companies specializing in the outdoors. We conducted a total of 48 interviews with different actors in the innovation processes, accompanied by field observations and analysis of secondary data. The priority frequently given to meeting technical challenges is likely to distance the product from the customer and real use. In certain cases, "innovation fever" generates internal imbalance. Second, some companies are too dependent on a key figure in their functioning, the inventor-entrepreneur; it sometimes implies a weakening of the innovation network during its vital decoupling stage. Finally, although the creation of innovation networks is necessary, it heightens the dependence on stakeholders and exposes to specific threats. Excessive confidence in the benefits of innovation can prove problematic. Innovators should not be discouraged, but reminded of the contingent and uncertain nature of the processes in which they engage, requiring anticipation and measure. The challenge consists in managing both the present and the future, while acknowledging that the exploitation of a routine does not prevent the exploration of new solutions.
    Keywords: innovation management,organizational vulnerability,outdoor sports,product innovation,small companies,management de l’innovation,vulnérabilité organisationnelle,sports outdoor,innovation de produit,petites entreprises
    Date: 2021–10–01
  13. By: Miguel Ángel De Urquía; Ramón Compañó (European Commission - JRC); Sergio Díez
    Abstract: This report presents a methodology to describe and assess place-based innovation ecosystems. The methodology is based upon a two-step qualitative and qualitative approach and the key performance indicators have been targeted to assess place-based Mobility Innovation Ecosystems. The geographical area is limited to metropolitan areas of cities, while the thematic focus is on emerging mobility business models. The methodology has been tested on five diverse case studies (Barcelona, Graz, Malta, Prague and Vigo) and confirms the adequacy and usefulness of the approach. It also determines the strengths and weaknesses of each ecosystem and offers valuable insights with regard to the ecosystem’s positioning on emerging mobility business trends. Comparing the differences and commonalties of the five case studies, we can deduce a number of best practices and recommendations for policy makers. Finally, we outline to the steps to take to assess the viability to turn separate ecosystems into a networked system of ecosystems.
    Keywords: innovation ecosystems, industrial ecosystems, industrial cluster, mobility, mobility-as-a-service
    JEL: O14 O25 O33
    Date: 2021–10
  14. By: Jonathan Labbe (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: This research focuses on the study of relationships between public and private equity investors in France. In this regard, we need to apprehend the formal or informal nature of interactions that can sometimes take place within traditional innovation networks (Djellal & Gallouj, 2018). For this, our article mobilizes a public-private partnerships approach (PPPs) and the resource-based view theory. These perspectives emphasize the complementary role of disciplinary and incentive mechanisms as well as the exchange of specific resources as levers for value creation. Moreover, these orientations crossed with the perspective of a hybrid form of co-investment allow us to build a coherent and explanatory framework of the mixed syndication phenomenon. Our methodology is based on a qualitative approach with an interpretative aim, which includes twenty-seven semi-structured interviews. These data were subjected to a thematic content analysis using Nvivo software. The results suggest that the relationships between public and private Venture capitalists (VCs) of a formal or informal nature, more specifically in a syndication context, at a national or regional level, are representative of an "economico-cognitive" (Farrugia, 2014, page 6) approach to networking and innovation. Moreover, the phenomenon of mixed syndication reveals a context of hybridization of public and private actors that would allow the private VCs to benefit from the distribution of wealth when the company develops its innovation. We can also identify a process related to a quest for legitimacy on the part of the public actor characterized by its controlling role within the public-private partnership (Beuve and Saussier, 2019). Finally, our study has some limitations. One example is the measurement of the effects of relationships on "visible" or "invisible" innovation (Djellal & Gallouj, 2018, page 90).
    Date: 2021–10–21
  15. By: Hottenrott, Hanna; Berger, Marius
    JEL: G24 L26 O25 O31
    Date: 2021
  16. By: Nicholas-Joseph Lazarou (European Commission - JRC); Javier Barbero (European Commission - JRC); Andrea Conte (European Commission - JRC); Francesca Crucitti (European Commission - JRC); Simone Salotti (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: The Committee of the Regions (CoR) recently deliberated on the costs of enhancing cohesion across the European Union (EU) through the various EU policies. This Insight presents JRC scientific evidence on the impact and feasibility of enhancing cohesion based on two quantitative scenarios focusing on investments in firms and training. The results show that substantial amounts of funding in less developed regions would be needed in order to meet ambitious cohesion targets. This may be mitigated through initial investments to improve institutional quality and developing a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. Subsequently lower levels of investment may indeed propagate cohesion to get closer to the desired targets.
    Keywords: rhomolo, region, growth, cohesion policy, general equilibrium
    JEL: C68 R13
    Date: 2021–10
  17. By: Schmutzler, Armin; Letina, Igor; Seibel, Regina
    JEL: O31 L41 G34
    Date: 2021
  18. By: Louise Taupin (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, BPIFRANCE); Pascal Le Masson (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Blanche Segrestin (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Because of the possible response to main, current and global issues, a particular attention is paid to deeptech start-ups and their growth mechanisms. Nevertheless, first observations on technological start-ups point out a limited growth. As deeptech start-ups are developing by nature advanced technologies, they are intended to be deployed on different markets, revealing technological genericity. Scaling these technologies encounters unfortunately some hurdles and seems to be more complex. This article focuses on scale-up for deeptech startups and on means to achieve this development phase. Literature usually considers scale-up as a phase of business model replication, suggesting low learnings. On the contrary, our hypothesis is to regard scale-up as a more complex phase in deeptech start-ups development, through additional means and learnings that have to be determined. This research is based on 8 case studies from different fields: For each start-up, we study what should be learnt and what should be relevant design strategies to ensure scale-up. Main issue in scale-up phase appears to prove that most of activities will not change, that should refer to the concept of creation heritage, taking into account external interactions.
    Keywords: Start-up deeptech,Scale-up
    Date: 2021–07–07
  19. By: Jean-Luc Arregle (emlyon business school); Francesco Chirico; Liena Kano; Sumit K. Kundu; Antonio Majocchi; William S. Schulze
    Abstract: Although the study of family firm internationalization has generated considerable scholarly attention, existing research has offered varied and at times incompatible findings on how family ownership and management shape internationalization. To improve our understanding of family firm internationalization, we systematically review 220 conceptual and empirical studies published over the past three decades, structuring our comprehensive overview of this field according to seven core international business (IB) themes. We assess the literature and propose directions for future research by developing an integrative framework of family firm internationalization that links IB theory with conceptual perspectives used in the reviewed body of work. We propose a research agenda that advocates a cross-disciplinary, multi-theoretic, and cross-level approach to studying family firm internationalization. We conclude that family firm internationalization research has the potential to contribute valuable insights to IB scholarship by increasing attention to conceptual and methodological issues, including micro-level affective motivations, background social institutions, temporal perspectives, and multi-level analyses.Bien que l'internationalisation des entreprises familiales ait fait l'objet d'un intérêt de recherche considérable, les travaux existants apportent des résultats variés et parfois incompatibles sur la manière dont la propriété et la gestion familiales façonnent l'internationalisation. Dans le but d'améliorer notre connaissance de l'internationalisation des entreprises familiales, nous examinons systématiquement 220 travaux conceptuels et empiriques publiés au cours des trois dernières décennies, permettant de structurer notre aperçu complet sur ce champ selon sept thèmes clés des affaires internationales (IB - International Business). Nous évaluons la littérature, et proposons des orientations de recherche pour l'avenir en développant un cadre intégrateur de l'internationalisation des entreprises familiales, lequel relie la théorie IB aux perspectives conceptuelles utilisées dans l'ensemble des travaux examinés. Nous proposons un programme de recherche qui prône une approche transdisciplinaire, multi-théorique et multi-niveaux pour étudier l'internationalisation des entreprises familiales. Nous concluons que les travaux portés sur cette dernière ont le potentiel d'apporter des renseignements précieux au champ de recherche IB, en accordant une attention accrue aux problèmes méthodologiques et conceptuels, plus particulièrement, aux motivations affectives au niveau micro, aux institutions sociales de base, aux perspectives temporelles et aux analyses multi-niveaux.
    Keywords: systematic review,family firm internationalization,international business theory
    Date: 2021–08–01
  20. By: Mettenberger, Tobias; Küpper, Patrick
    Abstract: The pilot scheme ‚Land(auf)Schwung‘, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, was designed to test new approaches in the development of rural areas. 13 peripheral rural counties received about 2.5 million euros each in total funding between the years 2015-2019, to develop new approaches in the provision of basic services and to foster regional growth and net value creation. With regard to basic service provision, many disadvantaged regions, especially in view of demographic change, are faced with the challenge of maintaining existing services and securing supplies for the population. To this end, very different approaches were tried out within the framework of Land(auf)Schwung. The accompanying research focused strategies and measures, particularly relevant for the regional concepts as well as for current research debates, in order to analyse these in relation to existing needs for action, spatial context conditions and various innovation processes. We selected five main topics for empirical studies, in the course of which we conducted a total of 105 qualitative individual and small group interviews. The first study on the location decisions of general practitioners shows that family-friendly living conditions, professional opportunities and biographical relations are decisive for settling in a disadvantaged rural region. Our second study analyses the potential of younger retirees’ volunteering to support basic services provision in rural areas. The results show that this potential is limited, since engagement is only one of several personally important activities, if at all, and is accordingly limited to favoured activities that only partially correspond to the most urgent needs for support. A third study examines the roles of sports clubs in the local integration of migrants, refugees and internal mi-grants, as well as the importance of these newcomers for the clubs’ membership development and youth strategies. Our interviews show, among other things, that the latter strategies are strongly geared towards winning over the children and, through them, their parents as well as the potential of target group-oriented offers that go beyond the usual training and team activities. The fourth study analyses the conditions under which disadvantaged rural regions can benefit from digital basic services solutions. In particular, capacity building on the user side as well getting support of the action field’s central key institutions and core providers prove to be decisive. With our fifth and last study, we shed light on the extent to which and under what conditions flexible offers (“People to Services” and “Services to People”) can contribute to maintaining rural basic services. An essential finding is that these services, in view of the limited usage potential but also low costs, can be easily usable supplements to existing offers. A central conclusion across the five studies is that in order to secure rural basic service provision, combinations of different forms of innovation are often necessary, so that technical, social, organizational and product innovations have to be coordinated with one another.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Health Economics and Policy, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2021–11–03

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