International Technology Transfer, Innovation and Economic Development of European Union Countries in 2008-2017
Purpose: The article aims to assess the extent to which International Technology Transfer (ITT) can influence the innovation level of European Union (EU) countries and, as a result, accelerate their economic development. This is vital from the point of view of the developing countries which are striving to narrow the development gap as rapidly as possible. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study uses a soft modelling method which makes it possible to measure and analyse the dependencies between variables than cannot be directly observed, i.e. latent variables. The soft model consists of two sub-models: an internal one, describing the relationships between the latent variables, and an external one, characterising the latent variables by means of observable variables. The statistical data used for estimating the model come from Eurostat, the World Bank, and the European Innovation Scoreboard database and span the years 2008-2017. Findings: The results of the modelling indicated a positive impact of ITT on innovation levels in EU countries and a positive impact on both ITT and innovation levels on the economic development of the studied countries in the period 2008-2017. The influence of innovation levels on economic development proved to be stronger than the influence of ITT. Practical Implications: The results of the conducted study can have a practical application and serve as an instrument of innovation policies, industrial policies, or as a tool helpful in creating conditions for innovation systems. Originality/Value: The article points to the methods and extent of gaining knowledge and technologies as prerequisites of higher innovativeness of EU countries, which constitutes an original approach to technological processes as a component of economic development.