The Innovation Imperative
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The Innovation Imperative

National Innovation Strategies in the Global Economy

Edited by Göran Marklund, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Charles W. Wessner

As a result of globalization, strategies for investments in innovation capabilities have gained considerably in importance for businesses, research institutions and policymakers. Public policy has to provide conditions for investments in R & D and innovation that are internationally attractive and effective in stimulating innovation, economic growth and job-creation. This book focuses on the changing roles and challenges of innovation and growth policy, and the strategies and measures that are critical in a globalizing world. It provides guidance for innovation policy strategy formulations and design of innovation policy measures.
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Chapter 10: European Research Framework Programmes in a Global Context: Targets, Impacts, Lessons for the Future

Nicholas S. Vonortas


Nicholas S. Vonortas 10.1 INTRODUCTION1 In the 1980s and 1990s analysts were concerned with the merits of national systems of innovation (NSI): the coherence of a geographically confined system had to be reconciled with the reality of the rising forces of globalization. The ensuing heated debate between the so-called ‘technonationalist’ and ‘techno-globalist’ camps, however, fairly quickly ran out of steam. Fleeting ideas, such as the expectation that the role of spatially confined governments would naturally diminish and eventually wither away, proved simplistic. Other ideas, better surviving the test of time, included the perception that companies, no matter how international, have a geographic base with which they identify and from which they draw competitive advantage. After a while it seemed that neither of the technoextremes was the right horse to back: globalization certainly affected the extent and modalities of government intervention, but in no way was it going to be true that the government would become irrelevant. Its role would change, but would remain as vital as ever. One idea popularized by Robert Reich in the early 1990s seemed to be ahead of its time (Reich, 1992). It offered a tantalizingly simple answer to the question ‘what can governments do in the presence of an increasingly footloose private sector and global capital?’ Spatially confined governments, Reich claimed, should first identify the less mobile factors of production and then concentrate their efforts on trying to raise the productivity of these factors. Highly productive factors tied...

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