‘First Impressions’ Press Review: October 2013

Our press review features the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance, from working papers to policy reports to books, as well as mentions in the media. The output for October includes 14 working papers, a journal article and a PhD thesis. We cover issues including innovation in Brazilian and Chinese companies, energy consumption in Kyrgyzstan, and the corruption-innovation nexus in emerging economies. Our working papers include several new studies on the links between institutions and long-term economic performance, executed in partnership with the French Development Agency (AFD).

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Syrian conflict debate: Seeing the smaller picture

Will Syria break apart along sectarian lines? What are the origins of the conflict? What are the pros and cons of a US-led intervention? How is the war impacting individual lives? These were among the questions of a panel debate on the Syrian civil crisis at Maastricht University in October 2013.

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Knowledge transfer: Comparing strengths, tracking trends

A new study, co-authored by UNU-MERIT, says that Europe outperforms the USA for new start-ups and licence agreements. However, Europe trails the USA for patent applications, licence income and invention disclosures. The European Knowledge Transfer Report 2013 draws on the most geographically diverse survey of knowledge transfer activities in Europe, covering more than 700 organizations in over 30 countries. Researcher Nordine Es-Sadki explains the approach, data and details below.

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Innovation for development: DEIP Bolivia 2013

Bolivia was the location of our latest training course on the ‘Design and Evaluation of Innovation Policies’ (DEIP). One of the least developed countries in Latin America but with one of the highest investment rates in education, Bolivia is a special case in many ways. In the last few years the Bolivian Government has focused on the potential rewards of innovation and R&D, specifically by bringing together researchers and manufacturers. Crucially, this DEIP fed into a long-term process that aims to reform the country’s science and technology policy, with a view to securing a major ‘leap forward’ by 2025. A leap based on social innovation and the sustainable exploitation of natural resources. The main themes are summarized below by government officials and course lecturers, in Spanish and English and in video and text.

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The other side of GPAC²: Entering government in Nigeria

Fellows on our part-time PhD programme (GPAC2) work for governments and international bodies around the world. Their day jobs land them at the centre of events in geopolitical hotspots, meaning they are often better informed than even the best connected journalists. In this new series, we speak with alumni and fellows about historic events, hot topics and how their PhD research helped them in their careers. This time we asked PhD alumnus Joe Abah about his new role in the Nigerian Government.

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Innovation and development: a cross-country comparison

In October 2013, Jun Hou successfully defended his PhD thesis on ‘Complementarity in Innovation and Development: A Cross-country Comparison’. Focusing on several thousand firms in more than 30 developing countries, he provides a range of recommendations linked to commonly found obstacles: competition, finance, skilled labour and tax regimes. In answering the questions below, Hou explains his research and how he made use of massive datasets from the World Bank.

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Press Review September 2013: First Impressions

This press review features the latest publications by UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance, from working papers to policy reports to books, as well as mentions in the media.

Our output for September includes two journal articles, two working papers, a study report, a policy network paper, a conference paper, a book chapter, a book and a research report for the European Commission. We cover knowledge transfer across Europe, industrial growth in Chinese regions, capability building in developing countries, and migration across four continents.

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Insider networking: UNU ICT workshop 2013

From 19-23 August 2013 the headquarters of UN University in Tokyo held the first ever ICT conference for staff of the various UNU institutes. While the content was technical, the aim was simple: to share skills and knowledge and get to know each other personally. For example, I’ve been in touch with Bruck Tadesse, my opposite number at WIDER, for several years but we’ve never actually met in real life.

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‘Teach a man to fish': capability building in developing countries

A new book co-edited by Prof. Luc Soete is dedicated to Jorge Katz, a renowned scholar on the economics of innovation and technological change, particularly in Latin America. Katz is also a close friend of UNU-MERIT, and until recently served on our board of governors.

Entitled  Learning, Capability Building and Innovation for Development, the book is based on Katz’s main areas of work: processes of learning; technological capability building; the connection between innovation, productivity and competitiveness; macro-micro interactions; catching up processes including technological regimes; natural resources and the role of ‘under-the-radar’ innovation.

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