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 8: Global interactions between firms and universities: a tentative typology and an empirical investigation

Leonardo Ribeiro, Gustavo Britto, Glenda Kruss and Eduardo Albuquerque

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


In a world where the tension between “national systems of innovation” (NSIs) and “transnational technology” (Nelson and Rosenberg 1993) has increased so much, that it is necessary to rephrase questions about local interactions between firms, farms, and universities across the world, interactions might be seen within a context shaped by the beginnings of a global innovation system. Throughout the whole research process, our teams found diverse indications of the importance of international flows and connections. Eun et al. (Chapter 4, this book) show the links between recently formed start-up companies and foreign universities – probably indicating the recent links between foreign-trained young Chinese scientists and their former supervisors and departments. In Thailand, foreign-owned suppliers are the third most important external source of collaboration for product innovation (Intarakumnerd and Schiller 2009, p. 562), and a global player like Seagate “set up a joint training programme with five Thai universities” (Intarakumnerd and Schiller 2009, p. 578). In Malaysia, our research team surveyed 150 firms from the electronics sector, in which 53.7% are foreign-owned firms (Rasiah and Govindaraju 2009, p. 536, and personal communication with the authors, 10 May 2013). Kruss et al. (2012, p. 527) mention how in South Africa the contact of biotechnology firms is mainly with foreign firms. Adeoti et al. (2010, p. 102) describe how Nestlé in Nigeria works with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) and contributes to its improvement.

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