Clean-tech Innovation in Emerging Economies: Transnational Dimensions in Technological Innovation System Formation
Emerging economies increasingly contribute to global clean-tech innovation. The ‘Technological Innovation System’ (TIS) framework and its system functions have become a popular analytical tool for clean-tech innovation. Its applicability to emerging economies is not entirely straightforward, however, because of two interconnected flaws. First, empirical TIS work has focused predominantly on advanced economies. Second, although TIS is theoretically understood to be a global phenomenon, empirical TIS work often uses national borders as system boundaries. Earlier perspectives on innovation in emerging economies have stressed the role of transnational linkages in (early) innovative activities in emerging economies. While implicitly acknowledged, the TIS literature lacks a systematic specification of these transnational linkages, how and under what conditions they form, and how they induce or hamper TIS formation. This paper draws on insights from the perspectives of National Learning Systems, International Technology Transfer, and Global Production Networks to elaborate on the transnational dimension of TIS formation in emerging economies. The insights these strand of literature offer on the challenges and opportunities of such transnational linkages may be accurately grasped by the seven TIS system functions, lending credence to further application of the TIS framework in emerging economy case studies.
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