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The Layers of National Innovation Systems: The Historical Evolution of a National Innovation System in Norway

  • Olav Wicken

    (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo)

The national innovation system (NIS) of Norway is characterized by diversity. This paper examines the multiple and heterogeneous historical processes, each defined as a path, that have given rise to such diversity. Each of the paths has involved specific types of social groups, organizations, knowledge bases, and institutional set-ups, and for each path a specific type of innovation structure has been developed. We define three main historical paths emerging from three major industrial transformation processes in Western history defined as Industrial Revolutions (Bruland and Mowery 2004). Each of these transformations created new industrial paths constituting a new layer in the economy. The Norwegian NIS is therefore described as the historical outcome of three diverse paths and consisting of three distinct layers. The creation of a new path does not indicate that the old paths of the economy remain static. Rather each path historically has undergone radical transformation processes in order to remain competitive in changing environments. The main dynamics of the innovation system are therefore linked to path transformation and path creation processes.

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Paper provided by Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo in its series Working Papers on Innovation Studies with number 20070601.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tik:inowpp:20070601
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  1. Magnus Gulbrandsen & Lars Nerdrum, 2007. "University-industry relations in Norway," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20070613, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
  2. Lars Nerdrum & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2007. "The technical-industrial research institutes in the Norwegian innovation system," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20070614, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
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  1. Socio-Economics of Innovation

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