Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2008/13: RIS and Developing Countries: Linking firm technological capabilities to regional systems of innovation

Ramon Padilla (), Jan Vang () and Cristina Chaminade ()
Additional contact information
Ramon Padilla: United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Postal: Mexico
Jan Vang: Copenhagen Institute of Technology, Aalborg University, Postal: Denmark
Cristina Chaminade: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This chapter explores the role of regional innovation systems supporting capability building among indigenous SMEs in two different RIS in Mexico. It explicitly attempts at testing the validity of the underlying assumptions in RIS literature in the context of developing countries, such as the importance of interactive learning with foreign subsidiaries, universities and research centers or among firms in the system of innovation. Empirically, it proposes a new method for comparing capabilities at organizational and system level. The paper shows that regional innovation systems in developing countries share central characteristics with RIS in developed countries and, in that respect, the approach is valid for the analysis of RIS in developing countries. The analysis also highlights the importance of local conditions for catching-up and development. The same industry in the same country might perform very differently depending on the characteristics of local systems.

Keywords: Regional Innovation System; Mexico; developing countries

JEL-codes: O30

41 pages, December 1, 2008

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