Innovation systems in developing countries

Byrne, Robert, Schoots, Koen, Watson, Jim, Ockwell, David, de Coninck, Heleen, Gallagher, Kelly and Sagar, Ambuj (2012) Innovation systems in developing countries. Climate Strategies, Cambridge.

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Abstract

This paper provides a review of what every developing-country policymaker should know about low-carbon
innovation. It explains what is unique about low-carbon innovation, why low-carbon innovation systems
matter, and in what ways they need to be strengthened. However, building low-carbon innovation systems is a
resource-intensive and long term endeavour, the outcomes of which are neither guaranteed nor predictable,
and no single approach fits all national contexts. To mitigate the risky nature of building innovation systems,
the public sector needs to provide financial support alongside private sector investments. Innovations emerge
from a system of interconnected firms, (research) organisations and users all operating within an institutional environment that supports the building and strengthening of skills, knowledge and experience, and further enhances the interconnectedness of such players.
Successful development and adoption of low-carbon technologies in developing countries depends on the
presence of appropriate policies and innovation systems. Appropriateness means they are responsive to their
local context in terms of available resources, comparative advantages, societal characteristics and cultural practices.

Innovation skills and knowledge should be built in tandem with the adoption of lowcarbon technologies and practices. An advantage for poorer developing nations stems from the weaker entrenchment of vested interests and less well established energy infrastructures. These provide opportunities for more easily steering development in low-carbon directions, avoiding the high-carbon pathways that industrialised countries
have taken. International initiatives could help to build low-carbon innovation systems in developing countries, but they should align with national policies of countries in order to better enable self-determined low-carbon innovation.

Item Type: Other
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
School of Global Studies > Geography
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Depositing User: Nora Blascsok
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2015 11:09
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2015 14:40
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/53030
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