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 8: Knowledge, Science and Interactions in South Africa’s Wine Industry

Jo Lorentzen

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


Jo Lorentzen1 INTRODUCTION 1 New World wine provides an interesting catch-up story, especially as far as developing-country producers are concerned. Although ‘New World’ includes, for example, both California’s Napa Valley and Chile’s Colchagua region, there are obvious differences between the two. Winemakers in the USA, Australia and New Zealand caught up with the European industry leaders, utilizing infrastructure and knowledge assets of advanced industrial economies. By contrast, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa are developing middle-income countries where capabilities of the private and public sectors are much more circumscribed. Under such circumstances it is not surprising that the dynamics of the wine sector have attracted much attention. Wine is a global and knowledgeintensive industry. Hence there is scope for linkages, and learning might transcend, at least in principle, geographically limited production areas. This chapter addresses the role of linkages between growers and producers and other actors in the wine industry in fostering innovation, an important part of catch-up stories. Such linkages refer primarily to knowledge flows. The question is not only the existence but also the quality of the underlying relationship in such networks. For example, whereas Anderson (ch. 4 in this book) hails the impact and pay-off from investments in research and development (R&D) in Australia’s wine industry as impressive, Aylward (2007) cautions that knowledge flows may reflect a supply bias and disregard the needs of smaller producers. Space may play a role in the way networks come about and operate (for an overview, see Simmie, 2005; for an...

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