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Table 2 Comparing and contrasting the main innovation systems approaches

From: Innovation systems research: an agenda for developing countries

Foundational Contributions Adam Smith (1776), Freeman (1987), Lundvall (1992), Cooke et al. (1997) Malerba (2002) Carlsson and Stankiewicz 1991)
Theoretical Elements National Production Systems, Home-market theory of International trade,
Innovation as an interactive process,
Role of institutions
Evolutionary economics
Economic geography/regional science
Institutional economics (at least in defining regions)
Heavy reliance on NIS
Evolutionary economics
Industrial organisation,
Industry life cycle,
Development blocks
Neo-Schumpeterian evolutionary economics, Institutional emphasis,
Geographical Focus National boundaries Sub- national regions(originally); now shifting to supranational Focus on Sectors Focus on networks of agents involved in technology dynamics
Main Actors Knowledge creating agents such as universities, political institutions, Industry Industrial Clusters,
knowledge institutions
Firms, knowledge institutions Firms
Known Issues Applicability of the NIS approach in developing countries;
Mapping NIS and measuring knowledge flows among academia, state and industry.
The definition of what constitutes a regional system of innovation Sectoral variances in innovation within and across national boundaries The dependence of the TIS on the rate of technological change;
high uncertainty,
weak or absent institutions;
lack of specific actors
  1. Source: Authors