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- PublicationResearch, development and innovation across the European territoriesInvestment in research and innovation is one of three headline indicators identified as an important aspect of an overall growth and jobs strategy within the Smart Growth pillar of the EU2020S. Combined with more efficient use of resources, innovation is conceived as the key mechanism through which the European Union will become increasingly competitive and through which economic recovery will occur. Ahlstrom (2010: 10) argues that “steady economic growth generated through innovation plays a major role in producing increases in per capita income. Small changes in economic growth can yield very large differences in income over time, making firm growth particularly salient to societies”. Research, development and innovation thus has the potential to help deliver on at least some of the smart, inclusive and sustainable goals of the EU2020S. Strong local economies are required to ensure global competitiveness (Territorial Agenda 2020) and the Innovation Union flagship initiative identifies 34 action points to improve the conditions and access to finance for research and innovation in Europe, facilitating the transfer of innovative ideas into products and services that will create growth and jobs (European Commission, 2010a).