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Government, Innovation and Technology Policy

An International Comparative Analysis

Sunil Mani

This unique book offers a comprehensive analysis of the changing role of government with respect to domestic technology development in eight countries in both the developed and the developing world. The author distinguishes between those countries which can be classed as creators of new technologies (Japan, Korea and Israel) and those which possess the potential to create new technologies (Singapore, Malaysia, India, South Africa and Brazil).
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Chapter 1: Innovation Policies in a Globalised World

An International Comparative Analysis

Sunil Mani


This book is about the role of government with respect to promoting innovation in a number of developed and developing countries. While the term ‘innovation’ in the context of developed countries is very often equated with the output of formal research and development (R&D), it is not the case with developing countries. Innovation or ‘incremental innovation’ in the context of developing countries results not only from R&D activities but also from a host of other technology activities such as purchase of new vintages of capital goods, non-routine engineering and so on. However, in the present book I shall equate innovation with the result of formal R&D activities. There are three reasons why such a ‘formal’ view of innovation is adopted. First, the study is restricted to those developing countries which have the potential to create new technologies on their own and this potential incorporates formal R&D capability. Second, informal innovative activities, while important, are very difficult to quantify in precise empirical terms. In fact most countries do not have consistent and good-quality data on any aspect of innovative activity other than formal R&D activities and patents. Third, the basic concern of the book is to analyse the role of governments with respect to promoting innovations at the enterprise level. Hence the public policy impact of formal R&D is much more than on informal innovation activities (such as changing the plant layout), most of which are firm specific and consequently less likely to...

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