National Innovation Systems

Topics: Innovation, Economics, Innovation system Pages: 8 (2765 words) Published: June 18, 2013
In this paper, we will provide basic summaries and critical reflections on the following 2 papers: 1. “Continental, national and sub-national innovation systems—complementarity and economic growth” and 2. “Determinants of National Innovation Systems: Policy implications for developing countries”. We will apply the theories provided in these 2 articles to developing countries, China and India for the purpose of critical reflection. This paper will be divided into 5 sections. Section 1 will be a basic summary of the first article. In section 2, we will provide a reflection by examining China and India’s advantages and disadvantages of their National Innovation system and economic growth. Section 3 will contain a brief summary of the second article. Then, in section 4, we will provide a reflection by suggesting how China and India can improve their National Innovation Systems based on the theories discussed in this article. Section 1 Summary of the article “Continental, national and sub-national innovation systems—complementarity and economic growth” The main purpose of the first article by Chris Freeman is to depict the role of a country’s innovation system on its economic growth. Freeman takes an historical approach by analyzing various countries’ developments over the last two centuries. The reason being that over time, technical change and institutional change are key variables that are used to explain a country’s economic growth. The article reports that there is significant divergence in economic growth rate between the developed and developing countries over time. The reason for this divergence is the social capability for institutional change of a country’s innovation systems. According to Freeman’s article, there are two approaches used to define a country’s national innovation system: narrow and broad. Institutions that insist on promoting the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge while being the main sources of innovation depict a narrow national system of innovation. In contrast, a broad national system of innovation is when these narrow institutions insert themselves in a wider socio-economic system where the scale, direction and relative success of their innovative activities are determined with the help of the system’s political, cultural influences and economic policies. Freeman chooses to focus on the broad approach of national systems of innovation. The article begins by explaining why Britain was one of the leading economic countries in the eighteenth century due to its national innovation system. Freeman suggests it was due to the notable prevalence of a scientific culture during that time. For example, the reverence of Newton in Britain by both the state and the church was completely different than the fate of Galileo in Italy (Freeman, 2002). The matters of science, culture and technology played in equal parts in the Britain’s infrastructure, business and entrepreneurship ventures. Science was used “on a significant scale in the invention and design of a wide variety of new instruments, machines, engines, canals, bridges, water wheels and so forth (Freeman, 2002).” In addition the congruence between science, culture and technology was further promoted by the political system of Britain. Consequently, the economic growth of the United States was influenced quite substantially by the British economy. Initially, the United States lacked a proper transport infrastructure to exploit its abundant natural resources. The country looked towards Europe for technology, including bootlegging some of their key inventions as it was illegal at that time. However, in time American’s were able to carefully duplicate most of these inventions making them even more productive than those in Britain (Freeman, 2002). In addition, the lack of a feudal system in the United States played a key role in their economic success. Moreover, the abolition of slavery in the United States led the capitalist path of development and...

References: Bartels, F. L., Voss, H., Lederer, S., & Bachtrog, C. (2012). Determinants of National Innovation Systems: Policy implications for developing countries. Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice, 14(1), 2-18.
Demographics of India. (2013). Retrieved June 2, 2013 from Wikipedia:
Freeman, C. (2002). Continental, national and sub-national innovation systems—complementarity and economic growth. Research policy, 31(2): 191-211.
Sedghi, A & Burn-Murdoch, J. (Mar 5, 2013). World 's top 100 universities 2013: their reputations ranked by Times Higher Education. The Guardian. Retrieved from
Wu, X., Revi, A., & Doshi, H. The Comparison of China and India: National Innovation System. Academia. edu. Retrieved from:
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