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Edited by Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler, Marcela Suarez and Alessandra Faggian

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Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler and Marcela Suarez

The epilogue chapter summarizes arguments presented in the book around the following research questions: (1) What are the challenges for innovation at the macro (system) and micro (firm) level according to the experiences of developing and transition countries? (2) What is the role of public policies in the transformation of national innovation systems? (3) What innovation practices successfully overcome challenges to innovation? (4) What is the role of collaboration and learning in fostering innovation? Based on the 10 case studies presented in the book, the chapter shows how national historical background and specific traits to various degrees shared by all developing and transition countries make successful innovation more difficult and how learning and collaboration help governments, firms, and other actors in the less developed part of the world to overcome these difficulties.

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Miklos Lukacs de Pereny

Since the Industrial Revolution, developing countries have tried to catch up with those successful in making the transition from decreasing to increasing return economies. However, at the turn of the new millennium, industrialization has been replaced by the rationale of innovation. This paradigm shift is not alien to the Latin American governments that, during the past 15 years, have actively supported the creation of National Innovation Systems (NISs) to upgrade their technological and research and development capabilities. This chapter reviews the efforts undertaken by the Peruvian government. A historic-analytical assessment is provided for the 1968–2015 period to describe and explain the main institutional and organizational trajectories shaping Peru’s NIS construction. Special attention is paid to the political and economic contexts and transitions, which have limited NIS construction and governance. Conclusions show that although significant macroeconomic progress has been achieved since implementation of free market reforms in the 1990s, a healthy macroeconomic environment alone is an insufficient condition for setting up an integrated, coordinated and well-performing innovation system.

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Gulifeiya Abuduxike and Syed Mohamed Aljunid

Since 2005, the Malaysian government has boosted its support towards the biotechnology sector in terms of a strong policy framework, financial mechanisms and by setting up several implementation agencies to drive this sector forward. This chapter evaluates the current development of the health biotech sector by identifying the main challenges faced by private health biotechnology firms in Malaysia. The case study analysis is based on comprehensive information obtained from semi-structured interviews, a survey and a focus group discussion with key informants from the private biotech sector combined with secondary data using the triangulation method. The chapter identifies several main challenges related to regulatory systems, niche areas, human capital and access to financing. These challenges stem from an underdeveloped health innovation system in Malaysia. Additionally, we propose several specific strategies and recommendations to build an effective national healthcare innovation system, which can strengthen private sector capabilities and increase interactivity and knowledge flows between various actors within the health biotech sector. The effective exploitation of the role of biotechnology firms and industry would be the key to sustaining successful development of this knowledge-intensive sector.

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Edited by Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler, Marcela Suarez and Alessandra Faggian

This edited volume offers a multidisciplinary perspective on innovation challenges and innovative practices in the context of developing and transition countries. The contributions mostly embrace a national innovation system approach in an attempt to understand innovation processes and their implications at both macro and micro levels.
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Jana Schmutzler, Marcela Suarez, Alexandra Tsvetkova and Alessandra Faggian

This introductory chapter synthesizes the arguments presented by the book contributors and argues that a broad definition of innovation systems is appropriate in the context of developing and transition countries. By weaving in specific examples from the chapters, the introduction demonstrates the importance of a context-specific approach that takes into account sociocultural context, macroeconomic structures and institutions. Taken as a whole, the book shows how the system level of National Innovation Systems (NIS) influences the way firms and other actors build up competences and learn, while the outcomes of interactions among these actors at the micro level shape the NIS environment.

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Xiao-Shan Yap and Rajah Rasiah

Evolutionary economists have strived to examine mechanisms behind rapid technological catch-up of some very backward countries in East Asia, such as South Korea and Taiwan. Malaysia remains an emerging economy in Southeast Asia, one that is struggling to grow through technological upgrading. Particularly in the semiconductor industry, the country has not been able to catch up with firms at the world’s technological frontier, despite its 40 years’ experience in the electronics and electrical industry. The purpose of this chapter is to examine latecomer technological learning processes and to draw implications for catch-up strategies. The chapter focuses on four Malaysian indigenous case studies, including two Malaysian wafer fabrication firms and two Malaysian semiconductor assembly and test firms, to identify managerial and institutional strategies in the technological catch-up process. The study subsequently compares the four indigenous cases to successful cases in Taiwan to map a typology of latecomer catch-up strategies.

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Edited by Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler, Marcela Suarez and Alessandra Faggian

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Cecilia Tomassini Urti

This chapter analyzes the public policy trajectory in promoting science, technology and innovation (STI) in healthcare in Brazil during the period 2002–14. Specifically, it shows how STI policies have incorporated the promotion of healthcare issues and how such incorporation could be related to inclusive development strategies. To do so, the chapter first explores relevant theoretical perspectives on the relation between STI policies and inclusive development objectives. Then, based on the analysis of the official documents and twenty semi-structured interviews with policymakers and healthcare scholars, the chapter explores public policy trajectory through the evolution of the health issues in STI priority areas and the progress of interactions among healthcare, science-technology, and the production–innovation sub-systems of the economy. Based on conceptual and empirical exploration, the chapter assesses the STI policy orientation towards inclusive development strategies and draws attention to the key role of healthcare and STI policies working together to attend to the needs of the Brazilian healthcare system.

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Nejla Yacoub

The economic literature emphasizes the importance of technological innovation as a key determinant of structural competitiveness, both for firms and countries. Building such competitiveness has long been linked to the developed world. In the last two decades, however, several developing countries have increasingly worked on setting-up innovation systems to strengthen their structural competitiveness in many sectors. This chapter explores the role of Tunisian public policies in building up the national pharmaceutical innovation system and the challenges faced by the country after the ‘Jasmine Revolution’. We try to answer two central questions: (1) have the pharmaceutical innovation policies in Tunisia been efficient before the Jasmine Revolution? (2) to what extent would the sought-after political democracy enforce a genuine innovation take-off in the Tunisian pharmaceutical sector? To answer these questions, we first evaluate innovation activities and processes in the Tunisian pharmaceutical industry before the revolution. This evaluation is based on an analysis of the national sectoral innovation system and on a survey of the Tunisian pharmaceutical firms. We then explore the public policies set up since the Jasmine Revolution and discuss their expected impact on the prospects of pharmaceutical innovation catch-up in Tunisia.