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By Elisabetta Gualandri, Valeria Venturelli (eds.)

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In the finance gap, for some types of investments, potential investors consider that below a given threshold the costs of information are too high in relation to the expected returns, compared with large-scale projects with lower risk thresholds. This leads to a gradual increase in the mean values of investment operations. In the second case, the demand and supply sides in projects involving small amounts of funds suffer from an information asymmetry regarding the growth potential of some types of business, especially in the high-tech sector.

The debt contract maximises the incentives for good behaviour by reason of the financial charges on the debt, which are the same regardless of the firm’s economic performance and reduce the cashflow available, and the fact that in the event of default the entrepreneur will lose control of the firm ( Jensen and Meckling, 1976). With reference to innovative firms, we have already underlined the significant problems of ex post information asymmetry, requiring monitoring of the debtor to ensure that he does not act in a way which increases the investment project’s riskiness.

Using the approach adopted by the ‘OSLO Manual’, for the purposes of this study we consider the process by which innovation occurs at Innovation and Economic Growth 11 the micro level – mainly technical innovation in products (goods and services) and processes (OECD, 2005). The innovation process includes all scientific, technological, organisational, financial and commercial changes which actually, or are intended to, lead to the implementation of technologically new or improved products or processes.

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