COVID-19 pandemic-related direct public support mechanisms have received more attention than previously and budgets for SME subsidies have skyrocketed around the globe. Currently, most support measures focus on short-term liquidity needs. However, policy makers have already started thinking about which role subsidies should play in the renewal of the economic structure once the pandemic dust has settled. The pandemic offers a good opportunity to restructure a company support system taking into account the structural barriers that innovation support systems have been subject to over the last decade. The aim of the analysis in this paper is threefold: (1) to map the barriers to innovation support, (2) to offer policy makers and SME support agencies a set of solutions to overcome these barriers and (3) to re-interpret these results against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic that started to unravel shortly after finalising the set of research interviews.
- innovation policy
- public support
- R&D subsidies
- structural barriers
- small and medium-sized enterprises