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Coordination of innovation policies in the catching-up context: a historical perspective on Estonia and Brazil


  • Erkki Karo
  • Rainer Kattel


This paper highlights some of the crucial weaknesses of innovation-policy-research that limit the relevance of this research for policy-making practices in catching-up countries. The paper proposes a framework that takes a multi-level and dynamic approach towards studying innovation-policy-making processes. This framework is applied herein to examine the evolution of innovation policy and governance trajectories of Estonia and Brazil and how this has affected the capacities for technological accumulation and development. The paper argues that crucial aspects of these contextual trajectories are being overlooked by standard innovation policy and governance analyses. In terms of policy implications, the paper concludes that the increasing influence of external pressures on innovation policy trajectories of catching-up countries is only reinforcing the use of narrow analytical perspectives and threatens to further de-contextualise innovation-policy-making in these countries. The spread of 'participatory' or 'networked' innovation policy models is presented as an example of these tendencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Erkki Karo & Rainer Kattel, 2010. "Coordination of innovation policies in the catching-up context: a historical perspective on Estonia and Brazil," International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(4), pages 293-329.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijtlid:v:3:y:2010:i:4:p:293-329

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    Cited by:

    1. Figueiredo, Paulo N., 2016. "Evolution of the short-fiber technological trajectory in Brazil's pulp and paper industry: The role of firm-level innovative capability-building and indigenous institutions," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 1-14.
    2. Kadri Ukrainski, 2016. "Fostering Innovation in Estonia: The View from the Governance Framework of the National Innovation System," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 16(4), pages 45-52, January.


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