The Future of Innovation Studies in Less Economically Developed Countries
- 646 Downloads
In this paper, we argue that there are patterns of innovation occurring in less economically developed countries (LEDCs) that have been historically overlooked by the innovation studies literature, including the literature on innovation systems and the triple helix. This paper briefly surveys cases in agriculture, banking, biomedicine and information and communications technologies that demonstrate organizational, scientific and technological innovation in Africa, South Asia, and Brazil. In particular, we track new developments in two distinctive patterns within LEDCs: (1) civil society as a site of innovation and; (2) innovation through appropriation. By systematically uncovering patterns of innovation in LEDCs, science and technology policy scholars may make new theoretical gains in innovation studies that can potentially contribute to innovation policies in the global South.
KeywordsDeveloping countries Innovation studies NGOs Civil society Less economically developed countries Appropriation
We thank Susan Cozzens and Ron Eglash for their comments on an earlier draft of this article. We also appreciate the special issue guest editors Arie Rip and Daniel Sarewitz; their comments were very useful as we were revising the draft. Logan D. A. Williams is grateful for the Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Fellowship that is funding her dissertation fieldwork in Nepal and India on the non-profit eye hospitals Tilganga and Aravind. Thomas S. Woodson would like to thank the National Science Foundation for funding his studies through the Graduate Research Fellowship.
- Adey, Samantha. 2007. A journey without maps: Towards sustainable subsistence agriculture in South Africa. The Netherlands: Wageningen University, Rural Sociology Group.Google Scholar
- AGRA. 2011. Alliance For Green Revolution in Africa. http://www.agra-alliance.org/. Accessed 12 Dec 2011.
- Da Costa Marques, Ivan. 2005. Cloning computers: From rights of possession to rights of creation. Science as Culture 14(2): 139–160.Google Scholar
- Dosi, Giovanni, Christopher Freeman, Richard Nelson, Gerald Silverberg, and Luc Soete (eds.). 1988. Technical change and economic theory. London: Pinter Publishers.Google Scholar
- Eglash, Ron B. 2004. Appropriating technology: An Introduction. In Appropriating technology: Vernacular science and social power, eds. Ron B. Eglash, Jennifer L. Croissant, Giovanna Di Chiro, and Rayvon Fouché, vii–xxi. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
- Ghosh, Rishab A. 2003. License fees and GDP per capita: The case for open source in developing countries. First Monday 8(12): 1–10.Google Scholar
- Harvey, David. 2005. A brief history of neoliberalism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hou, Chi-Ming, and San Gee. 1993. National systems supporting technical advance in industry: The case of Taiwan. In National Innovation Systems: A comparative analysis, ed. Richard R. Nelson. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Hughes, Nick, and Susie Lonie. 2007. M-PESA: Mobile money for the “unbanked” turning cellphones into 24-hour tellers in Kenya. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization 2(1–2): 63–81. doi: 10.1162/itgg.2007.2.1-2.63.
- International Institute of Infonomics and Berlecon Research GMBH. 2002. Free/libre and open source software: Survey and study. The Netherlands: University of Maastricht, International Institute of Infonomics. http://www.flossproject.org/report/. Accessed 2011.
- Jack, William, and Tavneet Suri. 2011. Mobile money: The economics of M-PESA. National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series No. 16721. http://www.nber.org/papers/w16721. Accessed 2011.
- Kamat, Sangeeta. 2002. Development hegemony: NGOs and the state in India. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Kim, Linsu. 1997. Imitation to innovation: The dynamics of Korea’s technological learning. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Kingstone, Steve. 2005. Brazil adopts open-source software. BBC News, Sao Paulo. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/business/4602325.stm. Accessed 2011.
- Krishna, Venni V., and Tim Turpin. 2007. Transition and change: Innovation systems in Asia-Pacific economies. In Science, technology policy and the diffusion of knowledge: Understanding the dynamics of innovation systems in the Asia Pacific, eds. Tim Turpin, and Venni V. Krishna, 1–33. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
- Lorentzen, Jo. 2010. Low-income countries and innovation studies: A review of recent literature. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development 2(3): 46–81.Google Scholar
- Lundvall, Bengt-Åke. (ed.) 2010 . National systems of innovation toward a theory of innovation and interactive learning. London: Anthem Press.Google Scholar
- Lundvall, Bengt-Åke. 2009 . Innovation as an interactive process: From user-producer interaction to the national system of innovation. African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development 1(2&3): 10–34.Google Scholar
- Mahadevan, Ashok. 2007. Miracles by the Thousands. Reader’s digest http://www.cureblindness.org/fileadmin/files/PDFs/RD_Miracles_Ruit.pdf.
- Mas, Ignacio, and Olga Morawczynski. 2009. Designing mobile money services lessons from M-PESA. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 4(2): 77–91.Google Scholar
- McMichael, Philip D. 2000. Development and social change: A global perspective, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.Google Scholar
- Mehta, Pavithra K., and Suchitra Shenoy. 2011. Infinite vision: How Aravind became the world’s greatest business case for compassion. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar
- Nelson, Richard R., and Sidney G. Winter. 1985. An evolutionary theory of economic change. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Nelson, Richard R. (ed.) 1993. National innovation systems: A comparative analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Odumosu, Toluwalogo B. 2009. Interrogating mobiles: A story of Nigerian appropriation of the mobile phone. Troy, NY: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Science and Technology Studies.Google Scholar
- Odumosu, Toluwalogo B. 2011. Re-thinking the margins of knowledge creation: Reconfigured ‘producers’ and productive ‘users’. In Knowledge from the margins, innovation and institutional change—Session II: Users as producers. Cleveland, OH: Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science. http://knowledgefromthemargins.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Odumosu.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2011.
- Oregon Public Broadcasting. 2005. The new heroes: Their bottom line Is lives. Oregon Public BroadcastingGoogle Scholar
- Reid-Henry, Simon M. 2010. The cuban cure: Reason and resistance in global science. University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Richter, Dominick, Hangjung Zo, and Michael Maruschke. 2009. A comparative analysis of open source software usage in Germany, Brazil, and India. 2009 Fourth International Conference on Computer Sciences and Convergence Information Technology, 1403–1410. IEEE. doi: 10.1109/ICCIT.2009.169.
- Rubin, Harriet. 2001. The Perfect Vision of Dr. V. Fast company http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/43/drv.html?page=0%2C1. Accessed 1 May 2009.
- Shils, Edward A. 1962. Minerva. Minerva 1(1): 5–17. doi: 10.1007/BF01101449.
- Valdiya, Shailaja. 2010. Neoliberalism and biomedical research in India: Globalization, industrial change and science. Troy, NY: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Science and Technology Studies.Google Scholar
- Williams, Logan D. A. 2011. Cosmopolitan Appropriation: White Cataracts and the Innovative User as Producer. In Knowledge from the margins, innovation and institutional change—Session III: Challenging regulatory frameworks. Cleveland, OH: Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science. http://knowledgefromthemargins.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Williams.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2011.