This paper employs both the descriptive and comparative approaches and
uses the definition of systems of innovation used in the literature to
examine the existence, characteristics and implications of the regional
systems of innovation in the Arab region. We examine three hypotheses,
that the regional systems of innovation exist but are characterized by
serious weaknesses in the Arab region compared with other world regions,
that the structure of the economy has a significant effect in the
performance of innovation systems in the Arab region, and that the poor
Arab systems of innovation have serious implications in the Arab region.
We explain two common characteristics of Arab regional systems of
innovation concerning poor subsystems of education, S&T, R&D and ICT
institutions in the Arab region and concentration of R&D activities
within public and universities sectors and 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,
competitiveness indicators, technology achievement index and poor
integration in the knowledge economy index. Therefore, it is essential
for the Arab region to enhance the institutions of higher education,
S&T, R&D and ICT 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, economic structure, Arab region.
JEL classification: O10, O11, O30