An International Research Handbook
PRIME Series on Research and Innovation Policy in Europe
Edited by Ruud E. Smits, Stefan Kuhlmann and Phillip Shapira
Chapter 4: Globalisation and Innovation Systems: Policy Issues
Keith Smith INTRODUCTION Globalisation is an ill-defined and haphazardly used term that usually refers - with many differences of nuance and emphasis - to three related phenomena of the world economy at the present time. The first is the spread of neo-liberal economic doctrines and (to a lesser extent) practices. The second is increasing interdependence between economies in terms of demand patterns, productivity norms, production chains and innovation. The third is the spread of, or increased importance of, global economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Trade Organization and specific agreements such as TRIPS or GATS. I Closely related to this institutional element is the spread of large-scale regional economic integration, of which by far the most important example is the European Union (EU). However, the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and Mercosur (South American regional trade agreement) are all significant. This chapter focuses on relations between innovation activity and these dimensions of globalisation, looking in particular at the challenges raised by globalisation for innovation support policies. A key argument here is that innovation issues cannot be addressed clearly without bearing in mind the doctrinal and institutional aspects of globalisation. Underlying globalisation in technology and innovation is greater interdependence in knowledge creation, in the forms of scientific collaboration, industrial R&D and the global mobility of highly skilled people. The chapter looks at definitional issues, then data and trends, and at the historical background to the new interdependence, before...
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