The paper “ National Innovation Systems in Asian Countries” is an impressive example of a term paper on social science. The concept of National Innovation Systems (NIS) has in recent decades been gaining increased intellectual and practical. This was preceded by NIS enjoying robust adoption in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and developed countries. More recent trends have seen it become a focus of heightened attention as a means of addressing some of the more intense issues in the developing countries (Feinson 2002, 14). According to Metcalfe (cited in OECD 1997, 10), NIS can be perceived as that set of distinct institutions which either through individual or joint efforts make robust contributions to the development and diffusion of new technologies which are key in the provision of a framework within which different governments formulate and implement policies to influence the innovation process.
Thus, it is a system of interlinked institutions to create, store and transfer knowledge, skills, and antefacts which are central in defining new technologies. Despite the fact that there are a number of historical precursors to the NIS concept Lundvall (2002, 215) determined that its major background should be based on the necessities of policymakers and students of innovation, representing an evolutionary process encompassing observation with economic theory.
After defining the concept of NIS, this paper will explore the different approaches to the creation of national innovation systems that were taken by various Asian countries. NIS in Asian countriesNIS has been successful in different Asian countries. This is based on the cognition of the fact that the innovation capacity of a country is a primary propeller behind its economic performance.
In addition, it provides a measure of the institutional frameworks and support systems that are central in sustaining innovative activities (Hu & Mathews, 2005, 1322). This paper will focus on several countries namely Japan, Korea, and China. NIS in JapanThe NIS element in the Japanese case was founded on three primary pillars. These are the central government and the role of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), social and educational innovations as well as the firms (keiretsu) (Marinova 1999, 1). In the case of the central government and MITI, these institutions have exhibited a robust commitment to the following issues. Firstly, this has been through long-term strategic goals.
Marinova (1999, 1) noted that the economic and industrial transformation of Japan was subjected to careful designing and direction. Economic transformations after the devastating impacts of WWII were achieved and founded on a national consensus where the government played an integral role. The long-term plan was aimed at making Japan a country that is technologically advanced and self-reliant as well as being a leader in some carefully selected technologies. This goal was achieved in the 1980s. Secondly, there was the promotion of generic technologies, most notably communication and IT.
In this case, the ‘ invisible hand of the MITI’ was vital in molding the long-term economic future of Japan. In addition, it made judgments in regard to which specific technologies were imperative in the coming years (Marinova 1999, 1). Thirdly, there was technological forecasting where again MITI was mandated with the primary role of technology targeting and forecasting. This responsibility was and is still is performed in collaboration with the Science and Technology agency.