Asia-Pacific National Innovation Systems
Online Resource Centre

Asia-Pacific Forum - Promotion of NIS


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Summary Of Presentations By Resource Speakers

Towards a responsive National Innovation System

The concept of a "National Innovation System (NIS)" was born about 15 years ago, to highlight the complex and interactive web of knowledge flows and relationships among industry, government and academia and making them work systematically to sustain innovation and science and technology development efforts. There is no single accepted definition of NIS. The concept of National Innovation System rests on the premise that a clear understanding of the linkages among the actors involved in innovation would lead to improving technological performance. Creating and implementing a responsive NIS implies a holistic policy design and formulation that basically fosters and encourages collaboration and partnerships among firms, and between public and private institutions.

Determinants of the Innovation System in Germany

In the report on Germany's technological performance 2005, it was indicated that innovations were the basis of prosperity in Germany. Germany could only be successful in the world market if it was innovative. For success in the field of innovation, it was necessary to be strong in education and research and development. Innovation activities in Germany have received some critical assessments from different sources in the economy e.g. from the Deutsche Bank. The major points were that the innovation contribution of German SMEs was low, there were several regulatory burdens on the private sector, there was lack of venture capital and start-ups, and there was insufficient supply of highly qualified personnel. Germany needed to improve R&D in science and technology in order to improve its economic growth, and to regain a leading role in future technology.

Transition to a Knowledge Based Economy in Korea

Innovation is a creative and interactive process involving market and non-market institutions (OECD 1999). Innovation could be considered as a highway to a knowledge-based economy, which was possible only when there was knowledge and it was used creatively to address various needs. The relationship between innovative capacity on one hand and GDP per capita and Current Competitiveness Index on the other was the same, i.e. the higher the innovative capacity, the higher will be the GDP per capita and Current Competitiveness Index. A framework for analysing innovation on a national level requires a systemic approach to innovation as a tool for policy analysis (OECD 1999); a focus on interactions and interfaces between various actors and the workings of the system as a whole, rather than the performance of its individual components (Lundvall, 1992). Beyond the traditional linear model based on a simple input and output mechanism, ideas for innovation can come from many sources and from any stage of research, development, marketing and diffusion (OECD 1997). The status of science and technology has vastly improved in Korea. The investment in research and development has increased dramatically since 1998. In 2002, Korea invested $14.4 billion in research and development, which puts Korea in the 8th position in the world. With 189,888 researchers, Korea occupies the 9th position and with regard to patents from foreign countries, Korea is 10th in the world.

National Innovation System and New Technologies: Emerging Options for Public-private Partnerships

In the literature on National Innovation Systems, the role of a country specific institutional framework in the light of technological capabilities has been discussed at length. However, the analysis of an innovation system in the light of emerging technologies is a rather new phenomenon . Bartholomew (1997) and Senker (2001) have attempted to analyze such an innovation system for biotechnology. In these studies, efforts have been made to develop and define the contours for a National System of Biotechnology Innovation (NSBI). NSBI now has a new approach towards NIS for public-private partnerships. It not only involves a pro-active agenda for R&D programme, but also facilitates successful emergence of a domestic commercial sector. Public-Private Partnerships can effectively meet the emerging demand pattern, and help in binding domestic capability building. The sectoral approach of NSBI has also brought a change in the concentration of industry. Now industrial locations may be linked to a major university or a research facility. This plays an important role in industrial development. It also helps in improving the domestic science base, and ultimately would enhance its utility for emerging start-up firms in particular sector. It also has to be acknowledged that there are limitations to the success of leverage strategies, widely adopted by almost all the NICs.