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The objective of this chapter is to examine the impact of the geographical distribution of a country's banking system on the diffusion of process and product innovations across firms. Innovation is the first pillar of the Lisbon strategy for boosting the competitiveness of the European Union and achieving the target of full employment. In a globalized and fast changing economy, it is argued, European companies must increase R&D spending in order to ride competition successfully and they have to speed up the diffusion of new technologies and the introduction of new products. To this end, the removal of all impediments to the creation and adoption of innovation is a key policy issue.
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