The main aim of this paper is to reveal how an entire national innovation system may become trapped by its own success.
The paper argues that success may shadow systemic failures of an innovation system itself and suppress many warning signs as irrelevant.
First, the paper shows how economy of Finland and related policy-making was adjusted in the 90’s to the changes in the global
techno-economic environment as well as fiscal austerity. In the adaptation process and related policy learning the concepts of national
innovation system and cluster were used as key focusing devices. The meta-rationale guiding innovation policy was transformed,
R&D expenditure increased rapidly and new innovation policy tools were used at different levels of policy making. Finland recovered
rapidly from economically difficult times, and it became celebrated as one of the leading ‘knowledge economies’ and its innovation system
a benchmark for many countries.
Second, the paper shows how the measured success, Nokia’s phenomenal growth, and increasing interest from abroad shadowed many
systemic failures and related warning signs. Consequently, the innovation system has not been adjusting itself to the European fiscal crisis
and changes in the global techno-economic environment of the 00’s and 10’s as well as those of the 90’s.
This paper is based on (a) a descriptive statistical analysis of economic performance and R&D in Finland (performance) and
(b) meta-analysis of all the evaluations focusing on the innovation system of Finland, or some elements of it (warning signs).
Due to preparation work for the MBS redevelopment project, access to the Harold Hankins building is no longer possible
via the University Precinct Centre. Please use the main entrance of MBS West (Building Number 29 on the Campus Map)
and take the lifts to the left of the main reception desk to the 6th floor. Turn left (‘access to Harold Hankins’ is signed)
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Alternatively, if you are a member of the University you can email email@example.com for access to
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