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Helena M. M. Lastres - Research Network of Local Productive and Innovative Systems RedeSist Federal University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Helena M. M. Lastres - Research Network of Local Productive and Innovative Systems RedeSist Federal University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helena M. M. Lastres - Research Network of Local Productive and Innovative Systems RedeSist Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Lisbon, June 2005 Systems of Innovation: orienting new development policies

2 2 Main challenges of the Knowledge Era  Need to find new development strategies in an increasingly competitive, globalized, financerized and knowledge-intensive economic scenario  Policies targeting the promotion of Learning, Innovation and Competence building Systems (LICSs) are much more complicated when knowledge  is seen as the ‘main resource and learning the main process’ of development (Lundvall and Johnson, 1994)  cannot be taken in isolation from issues of economic, social and political power (Parayil, Globelics, 2004)

3 3 Main challenges  General conditions for implementing policies significantly deteriorated in the 1990s. Countries are more vulnerable, however well local ISs may have been performing (Freeman, 2003) and have less degree of freedom to implement policies  LDCs are even more vulnerable: F high external debt and high interest rates are important constraints to technological & industrial development F macro-economic contexts in LDCs constitute ‘implicit’ policies of greater importance than industrial and innovation policies (Herrera, 1971) F economies with ‘malignant’ macro-economic contexts are heavily penalized (Coutinho, Globelics, 2003)

4 4 Urgency  to develop new ways of thinking development overcoming the immobilization resulting from F a hegemonic and globalized system of thought (Arocena and Sutz, Globelics, 2004) and F the frustration, as the promises that more open, deregulated and privatized systems would bring modernization, sustainable progress and convergence with the MDCs did not materialize - and the results of the policies of the 1990s have been deteriorated social conditions, more unemployment, more violence and more divided societies (Katz, Gobelics, 2004)

5 5 Urgency  to advance the understanding of the conditions of the new accumulation pattern and geo- political context, as well as of the required policies taking into account local, national and international constraints and opportunities F Advantages of the IS approach

6 6 Advantages of the LIPSA approach for development F observance of the systemic nature of innovation and the need of taking into account the micro, meso and macro-economic dimensions as well as social and political spheres F complements the focus on economic sectors, production chains, clusters and individual firms F emphasizes historical, political, national and local trajectories F reinforces the thesis that ‘context matters’

7 7 Advantages of the LIPSA approach for development F re-conceptualization of firms as organizations embedded within specific socio-economic-political environments, reflecting different historical and cultural trajectories F focus on the localized (and national) nature of the generation, assimilation and diffusion of knowledge and innovation F contrasts with the convergence trend suggested by the globalization theses Coherences of the systems of innovation approach and development theories in Latin America

8 8 Local Production and Innovation Systems and Arrangements (LPISAs) economic, political and social agents localized in the same area, performing related economic activities Main arguments of the pragmatic use of the concept in Brazil during almost 8 years  it is a very useful tool to analyze the means of acquiring, using and disseminating knowledge - the most important source for the creation of value in production spheres  in the normative sense it represents the locus where both public and private policies to promote Learning, Innovation and Competence building Systems (LICSs) can be more effective

9 9 F The trap of the new policies becoming “only in a new icing on an old cake” ‘by integrating some Schumpeterian variable to mainstream economics, we may not arrive at the root causes of development we risk applying a thin Schumpeterian icing on what is essentially a profoundly neo-classical way of thinking.’ (Reinert & Reinert, Globelics, 2003)

10 10 Policy models that (Lastres and Cassiolato, Globelics, 2004):  have a very limited and biased notion about innovation  promoting innovation is most of the times opposed to the promotion of local development or social inclusion  are extremely sophisticated and based on exemplary cases (or benchmarks) of advanced countries  ignore and are totally inadequate to the reality of LDCs and to the specific requirements of different production systems F as the requirements of these models are not fulfilled, a set of criticism is directed to the agents and environment of these LDCs

11 11 Policy models that (Lastres and Cassiolato, Globelics, 2004): F this attempt works in a true Procrustean fashion F As the Greek mythology tells Procrustes used to offer hospitality to passing strangers. They were invited in for a pleasant meal and a night's rest in his very special bed with the property to match whomsoever lies upon it, either by stretching the guest on the rack if he was too short for the bed or chopping off his legs if he was too long F Lastres, Arroio and Lemos, 2003 use this metaphor to argue about the need of developing policies adequate to the cases of MSEs in Brazil

12 12 Policy models that (Lastres and Cassiolato, Globelics, 2004):  even referring to collective agents, policies continue to treat them individually and as ‘patients’ who supposedly need to learn how to cooperate, innovate, develop governance, etc.  spend more resources in information systems, mapping, planning and evaluation activities than with the support of the selected cases the mistakes with most development policies are due to conceptual misunderstandings and often reflect the submission to alleged urgencies and fashions in their implementation

13 13 Facing the challenges and taking advantages of the opportunities F Need to distinguish 2 different meanings of mode F in periods of radical transformations what is sometimes seen as characteristics of the new phase (mode) may be just a partial and biased interpretation (fashion) of what is still difficult to perceive and precise (Santos, 1998) F Importance of mobilizing capabilities and knowledge for the sustainable competitiveness instead of pursuing low costs practices based on the depreciation of labor and natural resources (‘spurious competitiveness’ - Fajnzylber, 1988)

14 14 In Brazil, the use of the innovation system (IS) approach with policy objectives F started in 1999, when the ministry of S&T included in the 2000/03 pluriannual plan a specific budget line of action for LPISAs F main initiatives in the last 2 years include: F the setting up of an inter-ministerial group with the objective of coordinating policies for LPISAs at the national level F the institutionalization of a Program for LPISAs in the pluriannual plan Even if some of these criticisms apply main results include:  fast to use and to learn  the accumulation of experiences by supporting more than 200 cases with this approach  long-term academic, policy-making and entrepreneurial interaction

15 15 The use of the LPISAs approach with policy objectives in Brazil Policy evaluation F interviews with federal promotion agencies and with agents in 3 selected LPISAs (Lemos, Albagli, Szapiro, 2004) F interviews with different agents in 38 LIPSAs all over Brazil (Cassiolato, Lastres, Maciel, 2003, Cassiolato, Lastres, 1999 and 2005) Future research F analysis of international programs both at national and state level

16 16 Main lessons - facing the challenges and taking advantages of the opportunities  Understanding that knowledge is acquired and accumulated by people  need to invest in education and to revert the ‘brain drain’ process  Importance of promoting development without dissociating the economic from the social dimension  need to to diminish regional inequalities and to endogenize and embed local development  Need to further target the upgrading of local capabilities and social capital

17 17 Main lessons - facing the challenges and taking advantages of the opportunities F Importance of promoting national coherence and coordination instead of allowing for fragmentation and perverse dispute between regions F Need of developing new and collective policy instruments and mechanisms (cooperative banks, support for collective actions, etc.) F Relevance of mobilizing the participation of local agents in the design and implementation of the policies F Importance of adding to - instead of replacing - the tacit knowledge accumulated by local agents about the historical, economic, social and political environment of these LPISAs


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