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Regular version of the site

Article

Approaches for Developing National STI Strategies

STI Policy Review. 2014. Vol. 5. No. 1. P. 34-56.

This paper reviews the most central analytical and methodological issues that arise in developing national STI strategies. First, an outline of the relationship between national innovation systems and the strategic dimension is presented. The paper shows that science, technology and innovation strategy are often used in different forms and that there is no common understanding yet of the actual meaning and coverage of these strategies. The paper develops the terminology from a discussion of different approaches towards company innovation processes analyzing their evolution in different socioeconomic environments and the role and impact of science, technology and innovation policy on company innovation processes. Based on this conceptual understanding the paper defines national science, technology, innovation, and STI strategy and explains the basic terminology. From these definitions, the strategic dimension including the impact on the stakeholders is discussed. It is shown that a major success factor for STI strategy development is the involvement of stakeholders to vary and extend their use of their portfolio of instruments. Moreover it becomes evident that stakeholders follow their own interests which aren’t necessarily in the interest of the national STI strategies. The analysis shows advantages and disadvantages as well as potentials and limitations of different approaches to develop STI strategies in their ability to describe the reality of innovation processes and to allow conclusions about the relationship between innovation policy and the innovation processes implemented by companies. It is shown that knowledge of these limitations is an important factor to consider in designing consistent and coherent national STI policy which aims at supporting innovation eventually. Finally the paper concludes that the STI policy mix concept needs a more systemic development approach which is integrated in the national STI strategy development and implementation.