Edited By Bernhard Seliger, Jüri Sepp and Ralph Michael Wrobel
National Innovation Systems - Can They Be Copied?
1. Short introduction into the national innovation system concept
Discussions about national innovation Systems as an approach started from the desire to explain the differences between countries on the basis of capabilities, strategies and revealed Performance. These differences seemed to be stable over time (Dosi 1999: 35-36). The notion of a national innovation system originates from Friedrich List, who developed the concept of the national system of political economy already in 1841 (Freeman 1997: 24). List tried to explain why there is a change in the countries dominating the world’s economy. He explained this emphasizing the role of public-sector policy measures related particularly to learning and education to increase the knowledge of different technologies. He also emphasized the importance of learning from other developed countries.
The necessity to treat the innovation process systematically was again raised in the 1980s based on the understanding that most of the new knowledge needed for innovation did not come directly from universities or research institutions, but from a much wider range of sources: customers, production engineers etc. (see Lundvall et al.2002: 215). The need emerged to integrate different producers of new knowledge and their relationships, networks and rules into a holistic approach. This was realised in the form of the concept of the national innovation system (NIS), presented in parallel by C. Freeman (1982) and B-A. Lundvall (1985). NIS consists of three components: 1) institutions; 2) actors, networks; 3) knowledge, technologies. Based on those principles, an innovation system...
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