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Best Practices for Supporting the Innovation System with R&D Awareness

For any policymaker, it is crucial to sustain an ecosystem that not only utilizes the performance of the current actors to the maximum extent, but also attracts newcomers with promising potential for the system's future. From this aspect, it is vital to raise awareness and diffuse a penetration of R&D and entrepreneurship culture to support the innovation system. There are several mechanisms that can be identified as embodying best practices in the process of raising awareness of R&D culture. The two headings under which these best practices are discussed are diffusing R&D culture in researchers and diffusing R&D culture in society.

Diffusing the Penetration of R&D Culture in Researchers

An increasing emphasis is placed on providing support to the build-up of technology transfer capacities in countries to enhance technological collaboration between public research institutes, HEIs, and enterprises. As an example, the Mexican Government operates a program called the Program for the Creation and Capacity Building of Knowledge Transfer Offices (KTOs). This program aims to facilitate private sector access to the knowledge produced within universities and research centers and to encourage the fulfillment of academia's 'third mission.' This 'third mission' has been identified as the commercialization of knowledge through technology transfer and academic spin-offs. The government provides vouchers for innovation through KTOs for the purpose of stimulating the demand of companies for innovative solutions produced by knowledge-generating institutions. This program also provides medium-term grants to KTOs for knowledge transfer and linkages with the private sector in an effort to promote KTO growth and development.

Other mechanisms, implemented in almost every middleand high-income country, are policy tools to support Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs). In Turkey, the TÜB˙ITAK 1513 Support Program [17] provides grant support

for existing and new TTOs. The aim is to trigger universities' innovation and entrepreneurship by improving the quality of TTO services for commercializing universities' knowledge and technology. Under TÜB˙ITAK 1513, five categories of activities are eligible for support. These include awareness building and training/mentorship services, services to assist in applying for R&D project support, activities to promote university–industry collaboration, and project development/ management. It also includes services to manage intellectual property rights and licensing as well as firm establishment and entrepreneurship services. Through these activities TTOs seek to assist in transforming the technology-based assets of universities into commercial outputs. In addition, TTOs assist in the formation of university–industry collaboration and the production of knowledge and technology according to industry's needs. TTOs will be funded for 10 years under the TÜB˙ITAK 1513 Program. The call is open for the top 50 entrepreneurial and innovative Turkish universities, and each university is eligible to receive up to approximately five million USD.

The South Korean Twinning Program is another example of such a support mechanism. This program encourages information exchange between leading TTOs and newly established or yet to be established TTOs. In this process, all South Korean TTOs are classified as leaders, novices, or newly established. Based on these classifications, leader TTOs are expected to share their experiences with novice and newly established TTOs. The amount of support given to TTOs and its duration can also be shaped by these classifications.

In Brazil, the National Incubator and Technological Park Support Program (PNI), implemented by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), is an integrated program that provides incubators, TTOs, and technology parks with grant support [40]. Supported activities include undertaking benchmarking studies with international case studies of other incubators and TTOs outside Brazil and market analysis service provision to entrepreneurs. At the same time, the CERNE Model allows the country's 384 incubators to be classified according to their maturity levels. At each level, the incubators are expected to fulfill certain activities based on best practices.

Another support program that is initiated to boost the dissemination of R&D project culture is the R&D Funding Program for Beginning Researchers (TÜB˙ITAK 3001) [28]. This new program provides opportunities for researchers

who have not previously received any funding to apply for their first project and be evaluated in a separate pot from the big players. This provides a means to support researchers at the beginning of their research careers while encouraging them to gain experience. Researchers in universities and public and private organizations who have not previously received support as principal investigators can apply to this new program. The program's advantages are that it has a high support ratio, a fast evaluation process, and there is no limitation for the number of applications. The program offers grants of up to $25,000 per project, which includes scholarships, support of trips for scientific activities, support for project dissemination costs, and an incentive premium. The total duration of the R&D project may be up to 24 months. Since the initiation of this program, 40 % of beginner researchers in Turkey have been induced into actively practicing R&D culture.

In Japan, new technological developments are shared within the scope of two programs that provide bi-directional exchanges between universities and industry. In New Technology Presentation Meetings, academics make presentations to industry, while the needs of the industry are shared through presentations by industry to academia within the scope of Open Innovation Seminars. Both of these programs increase knowledge diffusion within the innovation system while increasing awareness of R&D culture. These programs also support undertakings, including the Strategic Promotion of Innovative Research and Development (S-Innovation) Program, to direct promising seeds from the project results of basic research into key technologies for new industries [41]. Such initiatives allow Japan to create the foundations of future industries and sustain economic growth.

 
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