Developing National Systems of Innovation

Developing National Systems of Innovation

University–Industry Interactions in the Global South

Edited by Eduardo Albuquerque, Wilson Suzigan, Glenda Kruss and Keun Lee

Interactions between firms and universities are key building blocks of innovation systems. This book focuses on those interactions in developing countries, presenting studies based on fresh empirical material prepared by research teams in 12 countries from three continents. The result is a more universal and dynamic view of the shaping and reshaping of interactions between firms and universities throughout different countries and phases of development. There are dimensions of those interactions that cannot be seen in the US, Europe or Japan. There are aspects and features of interactions that cannot be seen when we investigate Uganda, China or Mexico alone. In a time of increasing internationalization, interactions between firms and universities must be investigated tracking their international linkages. Professor Richard Nelson (Columbia University) writes in his preface: "The studies reported in this book are among the first to be directed to what is going on in developing countries".

Chapter 6: Channels and benefits of interactions between public research organizations and industry: comparing country cases in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Valeria Arza, Claudia De Fuentes, Gabriela Dutrénit and Claudia Vazquez

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Interactions between public research organizations (PROs) and industry have received increasing attention with the adoption of a systemic approach in the study of innovation. This perspective highlights the interactive nature of the process of knowledge generation and the central importance of intense interactions among different actors for improving the overall performance of national systems of innovation (NSIs) (Freeman 1987; Lundvall 1992; Nelson 1993). The systemic approach replaces the linear model approach and implies that PRO–industry (PRO–I) interactions are no longer viewed as mere transactions reflecting a division of labour in knowledge production – from basic to applied scientific knowledge and from there to technology development. Instead, they represent an institutionalized form of learning that contributes to the stock of economically useful knowledge in a country. Being the product of historical development, country-specific patterns of PRO–I interactions are expected to occur. The aim of this chapter is to compare the use of different channels to transfer knowledge, and the achievement of benefits of PRO–I interactions across developing countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. We use a common conceptual framework and data from surveys based on similar questionnaires in four Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Mexico), four Asian countries (China, Korea, India, and Malaysia), and one African country (Nigeria). The countries analysed are not developed countries yet, although they are in different stages of the catching-up process.

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