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Oluseye Oladayo Jegede

This chapter examines the importance of collaboration for mining firms’ innovativeness in the South West region of Nigeria using the data on 150 purposively selected mining firms. The results of both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques suggest that the majority of the surveyed firms collaborated with at least one other actor for their innovation activities. Surveyed firms tended to collaborate with competitors, suppliers and customers within the local markets and abroad. Statistical analysis results indicate that collaboration did not have significant impact on product innovation but it was statistically related to process and organizational innovation. The chapter concludes that collaboration is important for process and organizational innovations in the mining industry in Nigeria.

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László Csonka

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) active in a global environment rely increasingly on more extensive and geographically more dispersed external relationships. In an open and relatively small economy such as Hungary, it is crucial for local enterprises to be connected with international partners. This chapter explores the way Hungarian SMEs collaborate with external partners in research, development and innovation (RDI) activities. The research is based on a survey conducted among three sub-groups of SMEs: RDI-active companies, companies involved in RDI-supporting government programmes and random companies in high-tech industries. The responses cover four main industries: a) biotechnology, b) medical instruments, c) information technology and d) engineering services with respondents mostly employing under 50 employees. The data reveal that although the vast majority of firms in the survey are innovative, less than one-third participates in any kind of networking. The information sharing networks (based on professional associations and chambers) are rather ubiquitous and only a few substantial RDI networks (measured by maturity and intensity of collaboration) exist in the collaboration ‘portfolio’ of the respondents. The SMEs’ responses suggest that networking is generally a process started with national partners and that international expansion only follows after a number of years if a strong intention to establish durable relationships is present. The primary motivation for international networking is to develop already existing relations further. At the same time, an unstable economic and RDI environment in Hungary complicates long-term planning by companies and suppresses RDI networking.

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Carlos Gonzalo Acevedo Peña, Walter Mauricio Hernán Céspedes Quiroga and José Eduardo Zambrana Montán

This chapter presents a case of the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) where pro-active institutional efforts have shaped the collaborative dynamics characteristic of a ‘developmental university’. The chapter offers empirical insights into the public universities’ competency in emerging inclusive innovation systems within a context of low market demand for knowledge, in Bolivia. The chapter is a result of participatory action research performed within UMSS’s technology transfer office. It describes the role of this university unit as an innovation intermediary and manager, which developed co-evolutionary approaches of collaboration linking the university with the industry, government, and other stakeholders and shaping the science, technology and innovation agenda within the university, regionally and nationally.

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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.