Neighbourhood System of Innovation: South Africa as a regional pole for economic development in Africa

IERI Working Paper 2010-004
Erika Kraemer-Mbula and Mammo Muchie

The innovation systems literature has provided a useful framework to analyse the linkages of firms and other organisations with both domestic and foreign actors. Although the concept of innovation systems was originally developed at the national level (Freeman, 1982; Nelson & Winter, 1982; Lundvall, 1985; Nelson, 1988, etc), the literature has expanded rapidly over the years. Since its origins innovation systems have been defined at different levels. National, regional, local, sectoral and technological systems of innovation now constituted alternative units of analysis to better understand the processes of creation, diffusion and use of knowledge. These different views, rather than conflicting, tend to complement each other and depend on the attributed boundaries to the system subject of analysis.

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