ICC: How policymakers can attract technology and knowledge flows

  • 24 April 2015
ICC Digital Economy

Improving technology and knowledge flows can help countries attract foreign direct investment, enhance access to products that embody new technology and increase opportunities for technology partnering.

But what can policymakers do to improve innovative capacity in their respective regions and how can they ensure that their actions translate into growth and job creation?

The latest paper published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in its Innovation and Intellectual Property (IP) research series highlights a mounting need for “smart” or targeted regional policies to improve capacity of a region and identifies six best practice areas – from openness of trade policies to adequate access to finance for innovators – where regional policymakers can take targeted action at local level to complement the work of central governments.

Written by authors Balaji Parthasarathy and Jennifer Brant, the paper “The Dynamics of Global Technology and Knowledge Flows” provides an overview of how technology and knowledge flow at the regional and global levels and discusses various channels for transfer and diffusion, as well as the role intellectual property plays in knowledge exchange.

Noting that “one-size-fits-all” policy approaches are unlikely to attract technology and knowledge flows across borders, the paper propounds that policymakers can nevertheless bolster knowledge and technology flows by establishing favourable conditions for investment in research and development, and by cross-fertilization between different actors in innovation, public and private, as well as local and international networks. It also provides a set of recommendations for policymakers to help improve the business environment and develop absorptive capacity – the ability of a firm or region to integrate and use new knowledge to generate innovation- based on the common features of successful regional innovation systems and clusters.

Integration of firms in global value chains, participation in knowledge networks and the movement of skilled individuals among institutions and across geographic regions are all cited in the paper as ways to make advances in knowledge transfer and diffusion while across-the-board recommendations outlined range from prioritizing the creation of sound and stable environments for doing business, to investing in physical infrastructure and education.

“The Dynamics of Global Technology and Knowledge Flows” is the fourth paper in ICC’s innovation and intellectual property series that aims to contribute to a better and more concrete understanding of how IP is actually used in innovative processes to help policymakers design IP and innovation-related frameworks that more effectively help attain policy goals.

Providing credible and sound peer-reviewed research based on existing literature and interviews with actors in the field, the latest paper along with three others in the series – on IP management for SMEs, open innovation and trade secrets – are all available for free download from the ICC website.

Learn more about the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property.

ICC will celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity. Follow us on Twitter @iccwbo #WorldIPDay