Innovation facilitators and sustainable development: a country comparative approach

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National and international organizations have introduced policies aimed at sustainable development. These policies are designed to encourage sustainable forms of business to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda. Regional inequalities in sustainable development may be exacerbated by disparate levels of innovation. This paper analyzes the variations between clusters of countries according to the degree to which they have achieved the SDGs and their levels of innovation facilitators. Two types of analyses were employed. First, cluster analysis was used to examine changes in groups of regions with similar innovation characteristics between 2015 and 2020. Data for 122 countries were gathered from the World Bank, the SDG Index, and the Global Innovation Index. Second, multiple linear regression analysis was used to assess the power of the variables in the model to explain the level of sustainable development. The results reveal four clusters (low, medium, high, and very high innovative facilitators and sustainable development), as well as movements between those clusters from 2015 to 2020. The multiple linear regression analysis shows that the variables have explanatory power with respect to the dependent variable of sustainable development. This analysis also reveals different degrees of importance of the variables for each cluster. The findings highlight the need to consider the limitations of economic growth in terms of innovation facilitators to promote sustainable development. If policymakers recognize the limitations of economic growth and the physical ecosystem, degradation of the environment can be avoided, even when there is innovation. Global and individual social welfare can thus be ensured. This study offers valuable insights into how to achieve sustainable development through innovation facilitators by providing in-depth knowledge of the individual characteristics of innovation systems and considering the limitations of economic growth.
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Chaparro-Banegas, N., Ibañez Escribano, A.M., Mas-Tur, A. et al. Innovation facilitators and sustainable development: a country comparative approach. Environ Dev Sustain (2023).