University–Industry Interactions in the Global South
Edited by Eduardo Albuquerque, Wilson Suzigan, Glenda Kruss and Keun Lee
In 2006, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada opened a competition on “searching for paths to support the changing role of universities in the South.” This competition provided an opportunity for collaboration between research teams from 12 different countries from three continents. The objective was to fill the gap in knowledge about interactions between firms, universities, and research institutes at the periphery. Universities, research institutes, and firms are key parts of a National System of Innovation (NSI). The interactions between these key components of the NSI are starting points for a dynamic interpretation of the importance, role, and nature of science and technology. The comparative study published by Nelson (1993) is a product of previous work by Christopher Freeman, Bengt-åke Lundvall, and Richard Nelson (see Dosi et al. 1988, Part V). Nelson and Rosenberg (1993) summarized the concept of an NSI and set the framework of the comparative study. They stressed that the “intertwining of science and technology” (p. 5) was a complex feedback process that resulted in mutual positive feedback between science and technology – “science as leader and follower” (p. 6). Nelson and Rosenberg (1993, pp. 9–13) also present “the major institutional actors,” which are “firms and industrial research laboratories” and “other institutional actors” – universities and public laboratories. Those lessons shaped our initial views: investigations of interactions between firms, universities, and public laboratories were now seen as investigations of NSIs – zooming in on specific but important components.