Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy: Canadian Industry and International Implications

Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy: Canadian Industry and International Implications

Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy: Canadian Industry and International Implications

Innovation and Knowledge Creation in an Open Economy: Canadian Industry and International Implications

Synopsis

The book analyzes how manufacturing firms bring new and improved products and production processes to the market. It examines sources of innovative ideas and technologies; the role of R&D activity; the use of patent protection and other government policies; and the effect of innovation on employment and various performance indicators such as profitability and export performance. It reveals how these processes differ between small and large firms; domestic and multinationals, and across industries. Although the primary focus is on Canadian manufacturing firms, the results are adjusted to reflect recent empirical studies from other industrialized countries.

Excerpt

Innovation is the dynamic force that changes the economy. It provides new products and processes. It generates productivity growth and leads to increases in the standard of living. It is at the heart of entrepreuneurship.

An analysis of innovation is a study in the economics of knowledge cre- ation and application. Studies of innovation have not been as common as other types of studies in industrial organization – of scale economies, scope economies, sunk costs, multiplant economies, competition, and market structure. One of the reasons is that data allowing for broad descriptions of the innovation process have been lacking. Research has had to rely on case studies that are often unrepresentative of the innovation activity that takes place in the entire population. Case studies tend to focus on high-profile new products and processes. By definition, few firms are at the head of the class at any point in time, and focusing on them alone risks giving a distorted view of change.

This study makes use of the first comprehensive innovation survey to cover the Canadian manufacturing sector. the 1993 Innovation and Ad- vanced Technology Survey, carried out by Statistics Canada, was uniquely designed for analytical purposes and differs in key respects from the stan- dardized European Community Innovation Surveys (CIS). Conducted by Statistics Canada in 1993, the innovation survey used here provides an overview of the complex process that produces innovation in Canadian manufacturing. This process is often referred to as the innovation regime

See European Commission (1994).

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