National Innovation Strategies in the Global Economy
Edited by Göran Marklund, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Charles W. Wessner
Chapter 10: European Research Framework Programmes in a Global Context: Targets, Impacts, Lessons for the Future
Nicholas S. Vonortas 10.1 INTRODUCTION1 In the 1980s and 1990s analysts were concerned with the merits of national systems of innovation (NSI): the coherence of a geographically conﬁned system had to be reconciled with the reality of the rising forces of globalization. The ensuing heated debate between the so-called ‘technonationalist’ and ‘techno-globalist’ camps, however, fairly quickly ran out of steam. Fleeting ideas, such as the expectation that the role of spatially conﬁned governments would naturally diminish and eventually wither away, proved simplistic. Other ideas, better surviving the test of time, included the perception that companies, no matter how international, have a geographic base with which they identify and from which they draw competitive advantage. After a while it seemed that neither of the technoextremes was the right horse to back: globalization certainly aﬀected the extent and modalities of government intervention, but in no way was it going to be true that the government would become irrelevant. Its role would change, but would remain as vital as ever. One idea popularized by Robert Reich in the early 1990s seemed to be ahead of its time (Reich, 1992). It oﬀered a tantalizingly simple answer to the question ‘what can governments do in the presence of an increasingly footloose private sector and global capital?’ Spatially conﬁned governments, Reich claimed, should ﬁrst identify the less mobile factors of production and then concentrate their eﬀorts on trying to raise the productivity of these factors. Highly productive factors tied...
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