Mapping National Innovation Ecosystems
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Mapping National Innovation Ecosystems

Foundations for Policy Consensus

Amnon Frenkel and Shlomo Maital

Increasingly, researchers and policymakers alike recognize that innovations are generated by complex and dynamic national ecosystems that include government, industry, universities and schools. Because these systems differ by country and are strongly influenced by culture, effective policy and research strategies require a systems approach, in which policy consensus is built on a clear understanding of how each nation’s innovation ecosystem functions. Scholars and students of innovation and management will find this book an invaluable resource, as will innovation policymakers across the world.
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Chapter 7: The Spanish national innovation ecosystem

Amnon Frenkel and Shlomo Maital


This chapter presents our view of Spain’s national innovation ecosystem. After providing some background information on Spain’s economy, competitiveness, business climate and innovativeness, we describe the results of the Experts Workshop, which identified key anchors and processes for Spanish innovation. After analyzing the interactions among these anchors and processes, we show the innovation map itself and discuss its implications. To concretize the map, we describe a wide range of Spanish pro-innovation programs and policies. We found Spain an exceptionally interesting nation, for three main reasons. First, Spain is in the throes of a deep economic crisis; the rate of unemployment reached a record high of 27.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013. What began as a cyclical crisis, related to the European and global downturn during 2008–13, has now become a structural challenge for Spain, with the need for major reforms in the structure of Spain’s capital, labor and goods markets and its public sector. Like other European nations, Spain is seeking practical answers to the questions, what can Spain do better than other nations, and how can Spain stimulate demand through its European and global competitiveness, to reduce severe unemployment, especially among the young? Spanish innovation will help supply at least some of the answers.

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