New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Louise Earl and Fred Gault
Fred Gault and Louise Earl INTRODUCTION The contributors to this book have examined the activity of innovation, attempts to measure the activity in a systems context, and the role of policy in supporting innovation. The common objective has been to improve the collective understanding of a complex phenomenon, at a time when the rules of the business game are changing and other institutions – governments, higher education institutions, international organizations – are being challenged to recognize and respond to these changes. Indicators are needed to help improve understanding of the changing environment, to track the impacts of globalization, the outcomes of innovation, and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (UN 2000). As a consequence of economic and social changes taking place, Friedman (2005) has announced that the ‘world is ﬂat’, by which he means that the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, and the software applications that are available on it, are facilitating outsourcing, oﬀ-shoring, in-sourcing, supply chain management across space and time, and the use of search engines, such as Google, to ﬁnd information and codiﬁed knowledge – any where, any time. The openness of the Web, since the launch of Netscape in 1995, supports collaborative undertakings, such as open source software development, as well as the management of the supply chain, and it comes at a time when there are markets available in China, India and Central and Eastern Europe that were not there 15 years ago. The Friedman thesis is that the world has changed, or ﬂattened, the...
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