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Innovation System Research – Where it came from and where it might go

Bengt-Åke Lundvall ()

No 2007-01, Globelics Working Paper Series from Globelics - Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems, Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management

Abstract: When the first editions of Lundvall (1992) and of Nelson (1993) was published, the concept ‘national innovation system’ was known only by a handful of scholars and policy makers. Since then there has been a rapid and wide diffusion of the concept. In this paper we argue that during this process of diffusion there has been a distortion of the concept as compared to the original versions as developed by Christopher Freeman and the IKE-group in Aalborg. Policy makers and scholars have applied a narrow understanding of the concept and this has given rise to false ‘innovation paradoxes’ and left significant elements of innovation-based economic performance unexplained. Without a broad definition of the national innovation system encompassing individual, organizational and inter-organizational learning, it is impossible to establish the link from innovation to economic growth. A double focus is needed where attention is given not only to the science infrastructure, but also to institutions/organisations that support competence building in labour markets, education and working life.

Keywords: Economics of innovation; innovation system; national innovation system; innovation paradox; modes of innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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