It is now commonly argued that the locus of innovation has shifted away from individual firms and their supply chains, towards territorial economies and the 'global innovation networks' (GINs) by which they are linked. Still, scholars have yet to agree on the defining characteristics of GINs and on what sets them apart from other well studied network types and configurations. This is an important limitation, because it translates into conceptual stretching that makes the drivers and implications of GINs more difficult for research to capture and understand. In response, this paper 1) reviews current approaches to global innovation and production, based on which it 2) aims to clarify the concept of GINs in light of three defining characteristics 'global', 'innovation' and 'network' and to 3) identify the areas that demand further attention in order for the dynamics and implications of complex, global knowledge flows to be understood. The area of attention for future work is linked to characteristics at the firm level and at the regional level that will affect firms' ability to engage in and make use of GINs, deciding the degree of connectedness or unconnectedness to the global flows of knowledge.
About Cristina Chaminade
Cristina Chaminade is full professor in Innovation Studies at Lund University and coordinator of the research area on Globalization of Innovation at Circle. She holds a bachelor degree in Economics from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain and a PhD in Economics from the Autonomous University of Madrid/University of Sao Paulo (Brazil). Her main research interest is on globalization of innovation, particularly global innovation networks and innovation in emerging economies. She has actively worked on innovation in developing countries for over 15 years, particularly China, India, South Africa, Thailand, and Brazil. She’s been advisor of international organizations such as the European Commission, UNCTAD, OECD and UN-ECLAC.
Her research focuses mainly on understanding how firms, regions and nations create and use knowledge for innovation when knowledge is globally distributed, and how policies can be designed to support innovation in a global context. Theoretically, her main anchor is the system of innovation approach and a key concept in her research is that of Global Innovation Networks.
She has published in international journals, refereed books and handbooks in the fields of innovation, development studies and knowledge management like Research Policy, Industry and Innovation, World Development, Innovation and Development and European Planning Studies. She is one of the editors of the Handbook of Innovation Systems in Developing Countries published by Edward Elgar in 2009. Currently she is coordinating a research project regional variety and global innovation networks funded by the Marianne and Markus Wallenberg foundation.
Professor in Innovation studies, CIRCLE, Lund University
Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación
Edificio 8E, Acceso J, Planta 4ª (Sala Descubre. Cubo Rojo)
Universidad Politécnica de Valencia | Camino de Vera s/n