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".

Postscript: Researching university–industry links: where do we go from here?

David O’Brien and Isabel Bortagaray

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


This postscript analyses the experiences of a research programme seeking to conceptualize and quantify university–industry links (UILs) in Asian, Latin American, and African countries. Although this topic has generated a considerable body of research in high-income countries, little empirically grounded research has been conducted elsewhere. Our aim is to learn from this pioneering research programme to inform future UIL research directions in low-and middle-income countries. The Changing Role of Universities in the South (Changing Universities) research programme supported studies that examined: (1) how and why universities in low-and middle-income countries were transforming to meet their research, teaching, and outreach missions; (2) what changes or roles would advance their development potential; and (3) how should universities link their entrepreneurial and research functions? The last question generated considerable interest and more than 30 researchers were funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and a number of other agencies to examine UILs across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Before the research began, the research teams had independently identified a common challenge in their funding proposals. First, the requisite data needed to quantify UILs (e.g., surveys of industry and research organizations) were not available in their countries of study, except in a few instances. Second, a number of researchers questioned the utility of replicating survey instruments developed in “mature” innovation systems and applying them in low-and middle-income country settings.

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