Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries
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Handbook of Innovation Systems and Developing Countries

Building Domestic Capabilities in a Global Setting

Edited by Bengt-Åke Lundvall, K. J. Joseph, Cristina Chaminade and Jan Vang

This Handbook is the first attempt to adapt the IS approach to developing countries from a theoretical and empirical viewpoint. The Handbook brings eminent scholars in economics, innovation and development studies together with promising young researchers to review the literature and push theoretical boundaries. They critically review the IS approach and its adequacy for developing countries, discuss the relationship between IS and development, and address the question of how it should be adapted to the realities of developing nations.
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Chapter 6: Regional Innovation Systems in Developing Countries: Integrating Micro and Meso-level Capabilities

Ramón Padilla-Pérez, Jan Vang and Cristina Chaminade


Ramón Padilla-Pérez, Jan Vang and Cristina Chaminade 6.1 Introduction In recent years, there has been increasing interest in the rapid growth of certain regions and industries in developing countries. The new global landscape – characterized by rapid technological development and change, economic globalization, new business strategies and deregulation – has opened new windows of opportunity for upgrading and growth in developing countries (Archibugi and Pietrobelli, 2003). A ‘handful’ of regions in the developing world have already managed to utilize the opportunities that the new global landscape provides to accumulate technological capabilities and occasionally even become specialized hubs in global knowledge networks (Chaminade and Vang, 2008a; Asheim et al, 2007b). While some countries and regions show clear signs of being on the right track, others – especially in Africa and parts of Latin America – are falling behind in terms of upgrading, growth, unemployment and poverty (Kaplinsky, 2005). There appear to be no ‘best practice’ lessons that can be learnt from the successful regions as they have followed highly diverse industrialization, development and upgrading paths. The countries and regions also have different sizes (that is, home markets), human, social, financial and physical endowments and follow different, partly path-dependent, policy intervention strategies.1 The analysis of existing experiences is also limited by the absence of systematic comparative analysis of different regions and industries across the globe. Hitherto, the existing literature has tried to explain differences in the performance of the various regions focusing on the strategy of particular firms, the vertical and horizontal links in...

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