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The Reconfiguration of a Latecomer Innovation System

Governing Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Innovation in South Korea

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Dirk Johann

The book examines the evolving governance of pharmaceutical biotechnology in South Korea in order to derive conclusions about the dynamics of a latecomer system transition. Based on an analysis of innovation activities in the biomedical sector, which is complemented by expert interviews, the research contends that the Korean post-developmental state should be geared towards coordinating the interplay of technologies, modes of organization and institutions. An integrative framework is developed to describe system change as a co-evolutionary process in which the national and sectoral dimensions intersect. The case shows that the shaping of an environment in which innovation systems can develop sectoral transformative capacity is a central aspect of latecomer innovation governance.

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4 Evolution and reform of Korea’s national system of innovation

Extract

This chapter provides an overview on the evolution of Korea's innovation system. It summarises the key aspects o f three generations o f innovation policy and the practices that shaped the governmental organisation o f the public S&T system, as well as the framing o f policies to enhance the generic S&T capabilities o f the evolving system o f industrial innovation. The chapter is divided in two parts. The first part outlines the different phases o f the development o f Korea's innovation system from a historical perspective. It discusses the role o f early S&T policy inducements to build the core elements and relationships o f the system as well as factors that have contributed to policy learning and partial systemic reconfigurations during the catch-up period. A key focus o f the first part o f the chapter is the shift in policy direction before and after the Asian crisis in 1997. A new framing o f policy interventions as part o f the post-crisis restructuring as well as the elements o f the reform o f government-business relations, including the reform o f corporate governance, are central aspects of the first part. The second part focuses on the restructuring o f the STI policy governance and the elements that characterise the shift towards a horizontal mode o f innovation policy governance. Several reform initiatives o f the recent governments are contrasted and the remaining challenges for accomplishing a coherent mode o f third generation...

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