Promoting innovation in developing countries

Based in part on empirical country studies, the department’s research looked into the special features of innovation systems in developing countries, described specific learning processes and developed support concepts for development cooperation.

Project Lead:
Tilman Altenburg
Andreas Stamm

Time Frame:
2008 - 2009 / completed

Project description

Developing countries tend to have relatively low productivity and to be lacking in economic diversification. Innovations are needed to create new and more productive sources of employment and income, to find responses to social challenges, and to enable developing countries to embark on the transition to development paths that are more sustainable in environmental terms.

In most cases the concern is less world-class technological breakthroughs than the ability to adopt and autonomously master new products and processes and to adapt them to the local context. Later technological development takes place under conditions quite unlike those faced by today’s industrialized countries when they developed their innovation systems. In a largely open world market, developing countries are faced with far more advanced competitors. New rules governing world trade have eliminated the approaches earlier adopted to acquire technological knowledge (reverse engineering, local content requirements for foreign investors). On the other hand, though, today technological knowledge can build on a huge stock of grown knowledge, some of which is publicly available and can be accessed via the new communication media.


Current Publications

Plädoyer für die verknüpfte Umsetzung des Übereinkommens von Paris und der Agenda 2030 für nachhaltige Entwicklung

Brandi, Clara / Adis Dzebo / Hannah Janetschek
Analysen und Stellungnahmen 1/2018

The retail revolution

Altenburg, Tilman
Externe Publikationen of 18 January 2018

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE)
Tulpenfeld 6
D-53113 Bonn