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Pontikakis, D., McDonnell, T., Geoghegan, W., 'Conceptualising a National Innovation System: Actor Roles and Incentives' CISC Working Paper No. 16, May 2005

This paper presents a conceptualisation of a National Innovation System (NIS) consisting of dynamic Science Technology and Innovation (STI) actors operating in the backdrop of a set of supportive social technologies (institutions). The presence of institutions that are compatible with the workings of a NIS is a necessary but not sufficient condition for its sustainability. We highlight the different roles STI actors perform within the system, thus enabling an understanding of their contributions to the system´┐Żs innovative capacity. Normative policy that hopes to influence such contributions will need to be informed by actor-specific motivations for engaging in innovation-related activities and for collaborating. We argue that it is STI actors that drive the innovation system forward, so their underlying motivations are ultimately conditioning its sustainability. Building on the NIS approach, the paper proposes an incentive-based analytical framework. The proposed STI actor roles and analytical framework constitute a viable platform for future empirical analysis.

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