Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Spatial and Systemic Perspectives on Innovation

Academic journal article European Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Spatial and Systemic Perspectives on Innovation

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The economic crisis that started in 2008 opened new discussion chapters and brought again into attention the importance of productivity, new sources for competitive advantages or the need for investments in research, development and innovation. Countries like Romania need structural reforms, the increase of sector public efficiency, bureaucracy reduction, diminishing the disparities between regions etc. One solution is to focus more on the innovation system both on national and regional levels, and to develop institutions, cooperation, networks that help to achieve the growth objectives.

In the past producing qualitative goods was a guarantee for competitiveness. However today we refer to some trends that put pressure on companies and nations to improve their efficiency and effectiveness. Because of globalization and outsourcing, companies need more than good products and services to survive; they require minimum costs and increased productivity. Innovation is regarded as a solution; it is driven by the consumer expectations and competition. New and improved goods and services can increase the living standards, improve the work conditions and help the development of the society.

In this paper we focus first on the innovation process, than we define the national innovation system and at the end we search the regional innovation system and the role of universities.

2. The Innovation Process

The importance of the industrial policy in international comparison, the evaluation of companies based on the performance in research and development, the tendencies for liberalization and globalization, the orientation of the regional policy towards technology and innovation imposed a new thinking about the national economic policies and definition of the competitiveness concept.

Traditionally, innovation is considered a linear process, which starts with fundamental research, continues with applied research and production and ends with marketing and innovation selling. In the modern economy innovation is the result of an interactive learning process between companies with business relations or actors involved in a technological cooperation between companies, universities and the state authorities. Therefore it is necessary to monitor and identify the basic concepts of innovation: knowledge (as main resource), interactive learning and knowledge transfer. This last component is understood, it happens on constant basis between business partners, universities and industry etc.

Lundvall (2007) considers that innovation is a complex concept influenced by a series of elements. We mention here:

* the educational system and training - education is the base of any system, especially innovation system, it is responsible for delivering specialized work force, for adapting the specializations and programs to the market needs;

* the research and development system - research gives solutions for the problems and for progress; in general, public financed research is influenced by the national priorities;

* the financial system - assures the finance of education and research, but also the access of small and medium enterprises to credits for personnel development, new production facilities, research laboratories;

* producers networks - can influence the opinion and position of producers on economic, social and political issues; it focuses also the relations between customers and producers, the more sophisticated expectations and demands of customers;

* interaction rules - relations within a cooperation for innovation are observed in the knowledge and technological transfer process;

* relations of the companies with local, regional, national and international actors.

Ortiz (2012) emphasis that innovation is analyzed based on three paradigms. First, the technological paradigm where innovation, know-how and learning are competitive advantages for companies and regions. …

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