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The History and Evolution: A Big Data Analysis of the National Innovation Systems in South Korea

Eun Sun Kim (), Kuk Jin Bae () and Jeongeun Byun ()
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Eun Sun Kim: Data Analysis Division, South Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information, 66 Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02456, Korea
Kuk Jin Bae: Technology Commercialization Center, South Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information, 66 Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02456, Korea
Jeongeun Byun: Technology Commercialization Center, South Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information, 66 Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02456, Korea

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 1-20

Abstract: This study is a starting point to analyze South Korean national innovation systems (KNIS) using big data and provide insights for policy makers regarding how they implement the dynamic process of innovation systems. It examines KNIS that has developed over the past 14 years from 2003 to 2016 during the governments of Roh Moo-hyun, Lee Myung-bak, and Park Geun-hye. The aim of this study is to evaluate the KNIS in three ways. The first way is to analyze the NIS of the three governments based on data of 470,000 national research and development (R&D) projects, following which the second way is to compare innovative outcomes of the three governments. The last way is to figure out the characteristics of the KNIS in innovative performance. Our analysis reveals that the KNIS was developed and evolved from 2003 to 2008, maintained until 2012, and gradually declined, even though national R&D investment increased for 14 years. Empirical evidence highlights that policies implemented for more than a decade do not effectively link to economic outcomes, resulting in an imbalance between innovation input and innovation output. This study further argues that the use of NIS concept in South Korea seems to be skewed towards measuring national performance from a narrower perspective.

Keywords: big data; national innovation system; national R&D project; innovative performance; South Korea (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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