Innovation in Emerging Economies

Research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of Innovation and Technology Analysis

Historically, global economic growth proceeded in cycles from 40 up to 60 years. It was triggered by technological revolutions that took place in different locations. In this broader context, the diffusion of ICT technologies since the 1980s led to increasingly flexible modes of production, network organization and fragmentation of value chains, along with a progressive internationalization of production, research and innovation. Although the development was initiated in industrial countries, by now a considerable technological catching-up process has taken place in emerging economies.  Set against this background, the research project on Innovation in Emerging Economies focuses on the following aspects:

  1. the technological specialization and innovation paths in emerging economies,
  2. the importance of multinational enterprises (MNEs)  for technological catching-up processes,
  3. the effects of innovation in emerging economies on  innovation and productivity in Europe,
  4. the relationship between innovation and trade in value added in emerging economies, and
  5. the institutional and political framework conditions for technological catching-up.

The project is implemented jointly by the University of Bremen (Team of Prof. J. Günther, Economics of Innovation and Structural Change) and Technical University Berlin (Team of Prof. K. Blind, Innovation Economics). In addition the German Institute for Development Policy (Dr. T. Altenburg, Sustainable Economic and Social Development) provides external expertise on project design and implementation. 

The research team of the University of Bremen focuses on technological specialization and innovation in emerging economies, the importance of MNEs for technological catching-up, and the effects of innovation in emerging economies on innovation and productivity in Europe. The team of the TU Berlin analyzes the impact of innovation in emerging economies on participation and value added in global value chains. Both teams are going to conduct research on approaches to innovation policy in emerging economies as well as the repercussions for innovation policy in Europe. The project is going to be concluded with an international conference on the subject.