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Low-tech Innovation in the Knowledge Economy

Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, David Jacobson and Staffan Laestadius

This volume brings together reflections and research findings on so-called low-tech industries. The accepted wisdom seems to accept that mature, industrialised nations are undergoing a fundamental transformation into the much vaunted Knowledge Society. There is a firm belief that in this situation the advancement of high-tech industries is essential for growth and development. Correspondingly, in this scenario so-called low-tech sectors appear to be less important in and for the major industrialised countries. The starting point of this volume is a fundamental critique of this widely held belief. In fact, many of the processes we witness today are based on developments outside the realm of high-tech and low-tech industries are important not only for employment and growth but also for knowledge formation in European economies.
Contents: Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen/David Jacobson/Staffan Laestadius/Keith Smith: Low and Medium Technology Industries in the Knowledge Economy: The Analytical Issues – Tore Sandven/Keith Smith/Aris Kaloudis: Structural Change, Growth and Innovation: The Roles of Medium and Low-Tech Industries, 1980-2000 – Staffan Laestadius: The Classification and Taxonomy of Industries - Measuring the Right Thing – Gerd Bender: Innovation in Low-Tech Companies - Towards a Conceptualisation of Non-Science-Based Innovation – Staffan Laestadius: Innovation - On the Development of a Concept and its Relevance in the Knowledge Economy – Paul L. Robertson/Eduardo Pol/Peter Caroll: Receptive Capacity of Established Industries as a Limiting Factor in the Economy’s Rate of Innovation – Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen: Low-Tech Industries: Knowledge Base and Organisational Structures – Klaus Schmierl: Location Factors and Competence Patterns in Low-Tech Sectors – Andrea Bardi/Daniela Freddi: From Industrial District to Company Network – Kevin Heanue/David Jacobson: Globalisation and Embeddedness in Low-Tech Industries: Some Evidence From Ireland – Andrea Bardi/Silvano Bertini: Global Competition and Industrial Cluster Initiatives in Emilia-Romagna – Trond Einar Pedersen: Two Types of ‘Low-Tech’ Sophistication: Production Techniques, Product Design and Formal Competence in Norwegian Mechanical Engineering – Linda Gustavsson/Staffan Laestadius: Will They Survive? - Four Swedish Low-Tech Firms Facing the Knowledge Economy – David Jacobson/Kevin Heanue: Implications of Low-Tech Research for Policy.