Twin books detail recipe for dynamic high-tech industries in developing countries

06/29/04

Favorable government policies, clustering of hi-tech firms, and the availability of venture capital are essential ingredients for the development of a dynamic high-tech industry in developing countries, according to two new books by the United Nations University's Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH).

The books, based on extensive comparative research in both industrialised and developing countries, provide a guide for nations looking to promote technology based enterprises.

Innovation, Learning and Technological Dynamism of Developing Countries, published by UNU Press and edited by Sunil Mani and Henny Romijn, describes factors that have enabled a handful of developing countries to greatly expand their share in total world exports of high technology exports rising from 8% in 1988 to 21% in 1998.

The study says the common thread that distinguishes this select group of countries Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and South Korea is their use of science, technology and industrial policy to promote the development, spread and efficient use of new products, services and processes.

Financial Systems, Corporate Investment in Innovation, and Venture Capital, published by Edward Elgar and edited by Anthony Bartzokas and Sunil Mani, focuses on new windows of opportunity for financing domestic technology generation, and particularly the role of venture capital in adding value and giving new direction to existing resources in developing countries, like China and India. The book analyses the diverse approaches taken by a range of countries including Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Israel, India, China and Hungary.

The broad lessons from these experiences and their possible application in other developing countries to boost innovation and technological upgrading will be presented by Sunil Mani and Anthony Bartzokas of UNU-INTECH at a panel discussion to launch the books July 8 at UN Headquarters, New York.

The panel will be chaired by India's Acting Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr. A. Gopinathan. Participants include Lawrence Rausch, Senior Analyst, National Science Foundation, and Charles Gardner, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation.

"Conventional wisdom has had it that developing countries are primarily recipients and passive users of technology and other resources from industrialised countries," according to Mani and Bartzokas, senior research fellows at UNU-INTECH. "These twin studies disprove this common perception, assembling important lessons learned in several developing countries as they emerged into leading producers and exporters of high technology products."

Source: Eurekalert & others

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