Open innovation in South Africa: case studies in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and open source software development
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In the era of open innovation, the capability to conduct collaborative research and development has become a key indicator of absorptive capacity and innovation competitiveness. However, the literature addressing open innovation has a focus on developed economies. New evidence from the South African National R&D Survey, together with supplementary data, make it possible to gain a greater understanding of the structure of open innovation in nanotechnology, biotechnology and open source software in the South African context. Findings from a comparative analysis include: the identification of collaboration-intensive R&D networks whose structures are influenced by the characteristics of each technological platform; linkages between localized innovation networks and global innovation networks; and distinct patterns of expenditure, sectoral distribution and geographical location characterizing each of these technologies. The paper concludes with some suggestions for policy applications for these findings as well as directions for further research.
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