Chapter

The Layers of National Innovation Systems: The Historical Evolution of a National Innovation System in Norway

Olav Wicken

in Innovation, Path Dependency, and Policy

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199551552
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720819 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199551552.003.0002
The Layers of National Innovation Systems: The Historical Evolution of a National Innovation System in Norway

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The national innovation system (NIS) of Norway is characterized by diversity. This chapter examines the multiple and heterogeneous historical processes, each defined as a path, that have given rise to such diversity. Each of the paths has involved specific types of social groups, organizations, knowledge bases, and institutional set-ups, and for each path a specific type of innovation structure has been developed. The chapter defines three main historical paths emerging from three major industrial transformation processes in Western history defined as Industrial Revolutions. Each of these transformations created new industrial paths constituting a new layer in the economy. The Norwegian NIS is therefore described as the historical outcome of three diverse paths and consisting of three distinct layers. The creation of a new path does not indicate that the old paths of the economy remain static. Rather, each path historically has undergone radical transformation processes in order to remain competitive in changing environments. The main dynamics of the innovation system are therefore linked to path transformation and path creation processes.

Keywords: NIS; Industrial Revolutions; path transformation; path creation

Chapter.  10615 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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