Below the radar: What does innovation in the asian driver economies have to offer other low income economies

Between 1970 and 2000, the proportion of global R&D occurring in low income economies rose from two percent to more than 20 percent. However, this rising commitment to R&D does not easily translate into the emergence of a family of innovations meeting the needs of low income consumers “at the bottom of the pyramid”, since much of these technological resources are invested in outdated structures of innovation. A growing number of transnational corporations are targeting these markets reflecting dynamic new currents in best-practice innovation. Yet it is our contention that much of the previously dominant innovation value chains are either ignorant of the needs of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid, or lack the technologies and organisational structures to meet these needs effectively. Instead, the firms and value chains which are likely to be most successful in these dynamic new markets are those which are emerging in China and India, disrupting global corporate and locational hierarchies of innovation.
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