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Xue Han and Jorge Niosi
Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri
This chapter presents the theme, theoretical approaches and overview of the chapters in the book. The theme is the contribution of cities (their actors) to increased sustainability in social-technical systems, eventually by accelerating sustainability improvements. The selected systems are energy, transport and healthcare. Cities may act as the cradle of key inventions, as places of up-scaling and commercialization and as places of quick adoption, though few individual cities take up all these roles. Next, several urban innovation theories are introduced, including agglomeration and cluster theories, and the relational (collaboration) approach, with the aim to ‘position’ the chapters. Specific attention is given to the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Complementary approaches are institutional and governance perspectives, in particular with respect to cities acting as institutional innovators. A final approach is the evolutionary approach, as invention, up-scaling, commercialization and adoption of new technology are concerned with long time-lines and manifold uncertainties.
Richard Hawkins and Knut Blind
This introduction explores the conceptual background and definitions that pertain to understanding standards and standardization in the context of innovation. A general overview is provided of the themes explored in the chapters that follow.
Pierre Delvenne and François Thoreau
In this chapter, the authors engage with the widespread and influential approach of national innovation systems (NISs). They discuss its adequacy to non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, especially in Latin America, where it is abundantly implemented and tends to be reified, which leads to a situation where relevant contextual elements tend to be ignored. Although the NISs approach is meant to address the most pressing needs of the economies it applies to, namely solving poverty, reducing social inequalities, increasing productivity and creating jobs, the authors argue that it would benefit from developing a more encompassing scope, allowing integration of greater diversity and complexity. By retracing the history of regimes of science, technology and innovation (STI) in Latin America, the authors explore the problems faced by actors willing to use NISs more reflexively. They hereby discuss the effectiveness of STI policies in non-OECD countries. Finally, they formulate a research agenda with three suggestions for further engaging NISs both conceptually and practically. Using such analytical perspectives, they argue, might benefit scholarly work about NISs and could also allow for a better articulation with STI regimes in Southern countries.