Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2008/20: Globalisation of Knowledge Production and Regional Innovation Policy: Supporting Specialized Hubs in the Bangalore Software Industry

Cristina Chaminade () and Jan Vang ()
Additional contact information
Cristina Chaminade: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: PO Box 117, Sölvegatan 16, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Jan Vang: Copenhagen Institute of Technology, Aalborg University, Postal: Institut 6 - Medieteknologi og Ingeniørvidenskab, Lautrupvang 15, 2750 Ballerup, Denmark

Abstract: This paper is concerned with the changing role of regional innovation systems and regional policies in supporting the transition of indigenous firms in developing countries from competing on low costs towards becoming knowledge providers in global value chains. Special attention is paid to policies supporting the emergence and development of the regional innovation system in this transition process. Regional innovation systems in developing countries have very recently started to be conceptualised as specialized hubs in global innovation and production networks (Asheim, B., Coenen, L., Vang-Lauridsen, J.,2007. Face to- face, buzz and knowledge bases: socio-spatial implications for learning,innovation and innovation policy. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 25(5), 655–670; Chaminade, C., Vang, J., 2006a. Innovation policy for small andmedium size SMEs in Asia: an innovation systems perspective. In:Yeung, H. (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Asian Business. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham; Maggi, C., 2007. The salmon farming and processing cluster in Southern Chile. In: Pietrobello, C., Rabellotti, R. (Eds.), Upgrading and Governance in Clusters and Value Chains in Latin America. Harvard University Press). A specialized hub refers to a node in a global value chain that mainly undertakes one or a few of the activities required for the production and development of a given good or service or serves a particular segment of the global market. In global value chains, firms in developing countries have traditionally been responsible for the lowest added-value activities. However, a few emerging regional innovation systems in developing countries are beginning to challenge this scenario by rapidly upgrading in the value chain. There is, however, still only a poorly developed understanding of how the system of innovation emerges and evolves to support this transition process and what the role of regional innovation policy is in building the regional conditions that support indigenous small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in this transition process. This paper aims at reducing this omission by analyzing the co-evolution of the strategies of indigenous SMEs and the regional innovation system of Bangalore (India).

Keywords: Regional innovation systems; Evolution; Globalization of innovation; Software industry; Bangalore

JEL-codes: O38

28 pages, December 1, 2008

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