Characteristics of Innovation in the Arabic Countries

Characteristics of Innovation in the Arabic Countries

Samia Satti Osman Mohamed Nour (University of Khartoum, Sudan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0135-0.ch025
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Abstract

This chapter employs both the descriptive and comparative approaches and uses the definition of national systems of innovation used in the literature to examine the characteristics (strength and weakness) and implications of the national systems of innovation in the Arab countries. This paper examines three hypotheses, that the national systems of innovation exist but characterized by serious weaknesses in the Arab countries compared with other world countries, that the level of income has inconclusive effect in the performance of the national innovation systems in the Arab countries and that the poor Arab national systems of innovation has serious implications in the Arab countries. This paper explains two common characteristics of the national systems of innovation concerning poor subsystems of education, S&T, R&D, and ICT institutions in the Arab countries and concentration of R&D activities within public and universities sectors and small contribution of the private sector in R&D activities.
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Introduction

This chapter aims to discuss the characteristics and implications of National Systems of Innovation (NSI) in the Arab countries and to contribute to recently published research studies that aim to improve understanding of the nature and performance of national innovation system in the developing countries. The Arab region is composed of twenty two countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman Occupied Palestine Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. This chapter addresses the following questions: Does the national systems of innovation exist in the Arab countries?; Does the level of income affect the national systems of innovation in the Arab countries?; and What are the major implications?.

We examine three hypotheses, the first hypothesis is that the national systems of innovation exist but characterized by serious weaknesses in the Arab countries compared with other world regions. This hypothesis implies that the Arab countries has manifestly lagged far behind other world regions in terms of S&T, innovation, knowledge, technological capabilities, spending on information and communication technology (ICT), competitiveness and integration in the world economy. We examine the second hypothesis that the level of income has inconclusive effect in the performance of innovations system in the Arab region. This hypothesis implies that the Arab region shows remarkable diversity not only regarding economic growth (per capita income/income level), structure of the economy, but also concerning systems of innovation, mainly, subsystems of education, science and technology (S&T), ICT and networking. We examine the third hypothesis that apart from the remarkable diversity in the Arab region, the poor Arab systems of innovation has serious implications. These serious implications appear in terms of poor competitiveness, integration in the global economy, knowledge economy index, share of high technology export, technology infrastructure, technology achievement index and capacity to create knowledge in the Arab region.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): The sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. (See the World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2015 AU179: The in-text citation "World Development Indicators, 2015" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. : August 23, 2015: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD ).

Arab Region: Composed of twenty two countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman Occupied Palestine Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Gross National Income (GNI): The sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. (See the World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2015 AU180: The in-text citation "World Development Indicators, 2015" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. : August 23, 2015: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD ).

National Innovation System (NIS): Indicates the systematic relationships between different institutions related to innovation, science and technology, higher education, and the network between different institutions at the national level.

Life Expectancy: Indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life. (See the World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2015 AU182: The in-text citation "World Development Indicators, 2015" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. : August 23, 2015: http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN ).

Income Level: According to the World Bank classification of world countries is measured by GNI per capita and varies for high income ($38,392), middle income ($4,690) and low income ($635) respectively. (See the World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2015 AU181: The in-text citation "World Development Indicators, 2015" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. : August 23, 2015: http://data.worldbank.org/country ).

Gulf Region: Includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

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