How much broad should be the definition of innovation to inform policy decisions for promoting innovation in developing countries? Learning from the Mexican case

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Dutrénit, Gabriela
Corona, Juan Manuel
Ramos, Carlos
Rivera, René
Sampedro, José Luis
Capdevielle, Mario
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The discovery that some Japanese firms could compete successfully with their United States counterparts, and later Korean firms and from other newly industrializing countries, contributed to focus the attention of scholars and policy makers on the conditions of a successful catching up process. Hobday (1995), Kim (1997) and Lundvall et al (2006) show that most of these processes were driven by an extremely acute accumulation of innovation capabilities, which were fundamentally driven by learning from experience, imitation and adaptation, instead of by science or R&D activities. The Chinese case reinforces these findings. As these countries approach the technological frontier, scientific and technological knowledge become an essential ingredient of this process (Kodama, 2007). Literature on NSI claims that the fundamental resource of the modern economy is knowledge, and suggests that knowledge and learning are more important in the current phase of economic development than in previous historical periods. Hence, even though R&D activities are crucial when countries are approaching the frontier, other innovation activities and also important when countries are still at early stages of this process.
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