Production, Territories and Structural Change
Edited by Patrizio Bianchi, Clemente R. Durán and Sandrine Labory
Chapter 3: The National Innovation System (NIS) and readiness for the fourth industrial revolution: South Korea compared with four European countries
Keun Lee and Jongho Lee
This chapter analyzes and compares the national innovation systems (NISs) of Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom (UK), France, and Germany. For these five economies, five aspects of the NIS are analyzed using United States patent data in the last decade: originality (wider combination of knowledge), cycle time of technologies, knowledge localization, technological diversification, and inventor-level concentration of innovation activities. The NISs of the UK and Germany exhibit a high degree of originality and technological diversification, which is good in terms of preparedness for the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). Meanwhile, while the NIS of Italy has the longest cycle time, which is often considered as a basis for higher profitability, its low originality and lesser diversification implies a low degree of preparedness for the 4IR. In the meantime, the NIS in France tends to be in the middle in the five aspects of the NIS, thereby exhibiting no clear-cut distinction in any of the five aspects. In comparison, Korea shows the highest degree of knowledge localization and concentration, which is regarded as a feature of the East Asian model of NIS in the sense of a somewhat nationalistic and big business-led NIS. Although the short cycle technologies and big business-based NIS have served well as the catch-up mode of NIS, the former does not bode well in terms of long-term perspective and preparedness for the 4IR. Its NIS is still low in terms of originality.
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