Arab regional systems of innovation: characteristics and implications

Samia S. O. M. Nour


This paper employs both the descriptive and comparative approaches and uses the definition of systems of innovation used in the literature to discuss the systems of innovation in the Arab region. We explain that the two common characteristics of poor Arab regional systems of innovation is apparent from both the poor subsystems of education, S&T and R&D and ICT institutions across the Arab countries and the heavy concentration of R&D activities within both public and universities sectors and very limited small contribution of the private sector in R&D activities. We find that the major implications are the poor performance of the Arab region in terms of S&T indicators, local technological capabilities, technology achievement index, increasing technological and knowledge gap and distance between the Arab region and the other advanced regions in the world and poor integration in the global knowledge economy. Therefore, the major policy implication from our analysis is that it is essential for policy making in the Arab region to confirm commitment to enhance the institutions and systems of higher education, S&T, R&D, technological infrastructure, ICT and scientific cooperation to build the Arab regional systems of innovation and to achieve economic development in the Arab region.

Key words: Education, S&T, R&D, Systems of innovation, Arab region.

JEL classification: O10, O11, O30

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