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Global Innovation Policy Course: Introduction to Innovation Policy

Global innovation Policy Course

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Jointly organized by the World Bank Institute and the Korea Development Institute 

The main reason for governments to pay attention to innovation, particularly in the developing world perspective, is that innovation is the key driver of economic development, a way to generate pro-poor growth, to get more output or welfare from limited resources, and the key tool to cope with major global challenges, and notably those induced by climate change. Moreover we are experiencing a fundamental technical change, which requires major adaptations in our economies and societies while opening tremendous opportunities.

Innovation is a new and better product or service, or a new and more efficient, or less costly, way of producing, delivering, or using that product or service-. Innovation may be new to the world as a whole, new to a country, new to a sector, or new to an individual. These distinctions are important, particularly from the perspective of developing countries, because there is a tremendous amount of knowledge, which they are not using. If countries or firms devise better policies to acquire and exploit that knowledge and technology effectively in their local context, they can greatly improve their growth and welfare. Example... 

As a consequence, Innovation policy is becoming more mainstreamed and moving to the center-stage of the development agenda.  Under rubrics such as productive development policies or science and technology strategies, governments in developing countries are providing public inputs ranging from research infrastructure to research into new materials and processes to certain types of intellectual property, to tax or other financial incentives, each customized to suit the needs of particular domains of economic activity, but not others. In some cases they are creating new, high-level entities to co-ordinate the innovation efforts; usually they rely on financial and technical support from international financial institutions such as the World Bank, and other development partners.

Innovation policies are no longer the exclusive domain of S&T ministries but are increasingly championed by Ministries of Finance and Economy and private sector agents. In response to this changing context, demand for training and South-South learning of good practice is rising as well. Reflecting almost universal implementation constraints, the demand is particularly acute for knowledge of ‘how to’ implementation details of reform of innovation system and implementation of specific policies and programs.

Given the experimental nature of innovation policies and programs, the focus is on sharing the largely tacit knowledge of relevant policy makers and practitioners on 1) Institutions of R&D, 2) Instruments of Cluster Development and Linkage Promotion, 3) Tools of Monitoring, Continuous Adjustment of Innovation Policies and Institutions, and 4) Instruments and Mechanisms of Coordination of Innovation Policies.

The course will be based on the forthcoming book “Innovation Policy: A guide for policy-makers”, published by the World Bank with inputs from experts in the field.

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