Innovation and Technological Catch-Up

Innovation and Technological Catch-Up

The Changing Geography of Wine Production

Edited by Elisa Giuliani, Andrea Morrison and Roberta Rabellotti

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the supremacy of ‘Old World’ countries (France and Italy) in the international wine market has been challenged by new players, such as Australia, Argentina, Chile and South Africa, which are recording stunning performances in terms both of export volume and value. This book demonstrates that such a spectacular example of catch-up goes beyond simply copying new technologies; it entails creative adaptation and innovation, and introduces a new growth trajectory in which consistent investments in research and science play a key role.

Chapter 1: Innovation and Technological Catch-up in the Wine Industry: An Introduction

Elisa Giuliani, Andrea Morrison and Roberta Rabellotti

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, evolutionary economics, regional economics, geography, economic geography, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, regional economics

Extract

Elisa Giuliani, Andrea Morrison and Roberta Rabellotti 1 THE AIM OF THE BOOK Why choose the wine industry to investigate catching up in emerging countries? And why focus on science and innovation as the main drivers of catching up in a traditional agro-food industry such as wine? These two questions may well be asked by many potential readers of this book. Numerous recent studies about catching up are focused on countries such as China and India and on high-tech sectors such as electronics, software, pharmaceuticals and telecommunications. These cases are indeed globally known for having sparked economic growth in some selected locations, such as Bangalore in India or Shenzhen in China. Nevertheless, in spite of being in the spotlight, very little is known about the impact of these success stories on the rest of the country. Furthermore, there is little doubt that a large number of less developed countries are still highly dependent on agriculture and agro-food industries. The agro-food industry, though often depicted as low value added and with little innovation content, can instead represent a sector with significant opportunities of technological and rent upgrading. Hence, the real challenge is to understand how such sectors can contribute to the process of growth in these countries. What has happened in the global wine industry is extremely interesting from a development point of view because the latecomers in the international market have radically changed how wine is produced, sold and consumed. Until the end of the 1980s, the international market for...