Presenter: Dr Björn Jindra, Copenhagen Business School (Denmark) University of Bremen (Germany)
Date: 18 January 2018
Time: 12h30 – 13h30
Venues: Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, PE and Sweetwaters
This seminar explores technology upgrading of BRICS economies based on a three-pronged approach, which distinguishes between the intensity of technology upgrading, structural change and global interaction. We develop a statistical framework based on patent indicators to measure technological upgrading. This is applied to BRICS economies in comparison to selected high income economies in the period 1980 to 2011. The paper shows that there is no single path of technology upgrading. Instead, we find several unique paths with different trade-offs between intensity, structural change and the nature of global interaction. All BRICS economies display increased generation of frontier technological activities, while China and Russia have also increased the intensity of behind frontier technological activities.
China has also diversified its technology knowledge base and entered into dynamic frontier areas. South Africa displays comparatively low dynamics with modest improvements regarding frontier technological intensity as well as increased breadth of technology upgrading. A particularity seems to be a relatively high rate of technology sourcing from abroad. However, this not coupled with behind the frontier technology activities and thus might be a substitute rather than a complement to frontier activities. Finally, we find that with increasing intensity of frontier technology activities of all BRICS, the relative, but not absolute, importance of foreign actors and international collaboration has declined. BRICS economies seem to lack the organisational and complementary capabilities to match the extent of technology sourcing from abroad, observed in high income countries. Our result represents the application of a new conceptual framework and contributes to assess the sustainability of innovation based growth in emerging economies.
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Durban: The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or RKhan@hsrc.ac.za , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail HZulu@hsrc.ac.za
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