National System of Innovation: A note on technological asymmetries and catching‑up perspectives


  • Mario Cimoli


National Innovation System, technology, competencies, specialization, growth


What distinguishes the National Innovation System (NIS) across different countries? How much NIS could be considered as a useful analytical framework to explain growth performances? Which kind of representation can supersede the “push policy view” of NIS approach? These questions are worthy of particular attention for the understanding of empirical and analytical potential achievements of this approach. This paper discusses the main approaches that explain technological divergence and convergence. It is argued that another element identified as the “national institutional dimension” has to be explicitly taken into account for the understanding of the interplay that exists between technology, specialization and growth. It also provides a macro-representation of NIS which potentially captures and identifies at the micro, meso and macro levels the main threads that link innovation, institutions, competencies and economic performances, as well as a simple graphical model of the interplay between NIS, competencies and growth performances.