Asia’s Innovation Systems in Transition

Asia’s Innovation Systems in Transition

New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series

Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, Patarapong Intarakumnerd and Jan Vang

The success of Asian economies (first Japan, then Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and, more recently, China and India) has made it tempting to look for ‘an Asian model of development’. However, the strength of Asian development lies less in strategies that reproduce successful national systems of innovation and more in the capacity for institutional change to open up new development trajectories with greater emphasis on knowledge and learning. The select group of contributors demonstrate that although there are important differences among Asian countries in terms of institutional set-ups supporting innovation, government policies and industrial structures, they share common transitional processes to cope with the globalizing learning economy.

Chapter 10: National Innovation Systems and India’s IT Capability: Are There Any Lessons for ASEAN Newcomers?

Nagesh Kumar and K.J. Joseph

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation


Nagesh Kumar and K.J. Joseph 1. INTRODUCTION The Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the associated innovations are considered to be instrumental in bringing about wide-ranging socio-economic transformation of the developing world during the 21st century. No wonder today there is hardly any country in the developing world which has not initiated policy measures and institutional interventions to harness the powers of new technology for development. The focus of these initiatives has involved among other things developing a domestic ICT production base on the one hand and facilitating the diffusion of the new technology into different sectors of the economy and society including governance. The new ASEAN countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, though lagging behind their counterparts in ASEAN, have not been left behind as manifested in the series of policy measures initiated by them during the last decade. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the new general purpose technology, unlike its predecessors, is that a developing country such as India is acclaimed for her competence. Hence an obvious issue before the new ASEAN countries aiming at harnessing the new technology for development arises; are there any lessons for these countries from India, which is known for its IT success? The present chapter seeks an answer to this question. India’s ICT capabilities and its presence in the world market for ICT software and services are well documented (D’Costa, 2003; Heeks, 1996; Arora et al., 2001; Arora and Athreya, 2002; Joseph, 2002; Joseph and Harilal, 2001;...

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