Towards Better Models
Edited by Stefan Kuhlmann and Gonzalo Ordóñez-Matamoros
Chapter 5: Emerging innovation systems (EIS) and take-off issues in North African economies: evidence from Algeria
In many developing countries, innovation dynamics is confronted with a very specific environment characterized by the rise of very small enterprises and small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) with little experience in the fields of R & D, relatively weak industrial performance in terms of productivity, and high levels of obsolescence in terms of both human resources and equipment. This is partly the result of a long-lasting deindustrialization phenomenon. While the approach in terms of national systems of innovation (NSIs) attracts a great deal of attention from policymakers and researchers, several attempts to trigger innovation through this approach have failed, mostly as a result of a poor understanding of how innovation systems emerge in non-catch-up countries. The emerging innovation systems (EIS) approach proposed in this chapter rests on the premise that innovation takes off in a variety of ways, needing both strong policy impulses from government and adequate market dynamics. The chapter addresses the fundamental question of how innovation emergence takes place in late-industrializing countries such as the North African countries, in terms of both policies and conceptual framework, and draws heavily from the Algerian experience.
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