New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Patarapong Intarakumnerd and Jan Vang
Chapter 1: Asia’s Innovation Systems in Transition: An Introduction
Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Patarapong Intarakumnerd and Jan Vang INTRODUCTION Economies in transition has become the standard term for former centrally planned economies in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Republics and Asia. This reﬂects the general connotation of transition as referring to a process where there is a change of an object, concept or system from one state to another. We have borrowed this term for the title of this book – Asia’s Innovation Systems in Transition – to capture what is going on in a number of Asian countries, well aware that most of them have never been centrally planned economies. We did so because we think that transition captures quite well what is going on in the diﬀerent national innovation systems analysed in this book. The transition we refer to is a process where one constellation of institutions is turning into a diﬀerent constellation of institutions. With institutions we mean norms, rules and conventions, formal and explicit as well as informal and implicit. Institutions are layered into organizations and into the minds of people, and they are slow to change. In our context the institutions in focus are those related to the production, diﬀusion and use of knowledge. The transition may, as in the standard use of the term, involve a diﬀerent balance between market, state regulation and collective versus private property. But they may also reﬂect a change in the relationship between knowledge producers and knowledge users or the emergence of a new mode...