It is an important part of the “custom parking signs australia” outline to improve the market-oriented mechanism of technological innovation, strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in innovation, and promote the concentration of various innovation elements in enterprises, thereby strengthening the support for innovation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SEMs). Under the guidance of various national policies, the number of technology-based SEMs has grown rapidly, which have gradually become an important body to promote the construction of China’s modern economic system, support the development of the knowledge economy, cultivate new momentum, and promote high-quality development. It is also an important force to promote the national innovation strategy and strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in innovation. Therefore, only through continuous R & D investment can technology-based enterprises continuously improve their innovation capabilities and realize the transformation from “followers” to “leaders” in technological innovation.
According to the Statistical Bulletin of National Science and Technology Funding Investment in 2020, the expenditure on research and experimental development of enterprises was 1867.38 billion yuan, an increase of 10.4% over the previous year. In the context of fighting against the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the R & D expenditure of enterprises can still maintain a moderate growth rate, which shows that the status of Chinese enterprises as the main body of innovation is constantly being consolidated. However, innovation is an activity with strong uncertainty, high risk and high cost, and the stable resources required for it are constrained by financing (Seker, 2012). Due to the limitation of information channels, weak guarantee ability and high operating risks, the problems of financing difficulties and high financing costs for SEMs are more prominent.
The role of financial means can effectively alleviate this problem (Zhuang & Si, 2021). A good external financial environment can change the efficiency of resource allocation, directly affect the supply channels of corporate funds, and facilitate corporate innovation. Based on its own digital, intelligent and networked characteristics, digital finance realizes the integration of digital technology and financial services, breaks the traditional “two eight rules”, and has outstanding performance in terms of service radius, service depth and service availability. It is a powerful supplement to traditional finance. With the help of Internet big data and cloud computing platforms, it can accurately locate customers, reduce the risk of resource mismatch, and play a significant role in alleviating the financing constraints of technology-based SMEs and enhancing innovation capabilities (Jiang et al., 2022). However, at the same time, due to the need for technical confidentiality and the uncertainty of the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, technology-based SMEs have exacerbated the information asymmetry between banks and enterprises, resulting in high due diligence costs, high risks and low enthusiasm for banks. In this case, to ensure investment in innovation, it is more dependent on its own financial reserves. Heath, who first proposed the concept of financial flexibility, believes that financial flexibility is an emergency ability for enterprises to avoid financial distress by quickly adjusting cash flow (Heath, 1978). Gamba and Triantis, from the perspective of investment and financing costs, believed that financial flexibility is the ability of enterprises to obtain new financing sources at low financing costs (Gamba & Triantis, 2008). At this time, enterprises with strong financial flexibility can replace the financing constraints to a large extent to ensure the R & D investment of enterprises.
At the same time, digital finance is a new type of financial service channel. In the process of orderly development, there are also problems such as arbitrage by some financial institutions and disrupting the financial capital market, which brings hidden risks to the stable development of the financial industry (Zhao et al., 2021). Therefore, does digital finance really benefit the innovation investment of technology-based SMEs? This issue remains to be further confirmed. At present, research on digital finance is mostly related to macroeconomics and national livelihood. Research shows that digital finance plays a role in promoting rural economic development, increasing residents’ income and consumption, promoting industrial structure upgrading, and enhancing environmental governance and high-quality urban development (Lu & Wang, 2021; Sun & Xu, 2021; Zhu & Zhang, 2022). However, the research on micro-enterprises mostly starts from the theoretical mechanism, and analyzes the effect of digital finance on enterprise value and investment efficiency by alleviating corporate financing constraints and reducing information asymmetry (Yang, 2019; Li et al., 2021; Cai et al., 2020). These literature provides a useful reference for the study of “Digital Financial Environment—Enterprise Innovation Investment”.