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The sources of innovations - looking beyond technological opportunities

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The concept 'technological opportunity' has been coined to capture the vitality of the underlying sciences and technologies as the sources of technical progress that firms draw upon during innovation. Nonetheless, less attention has been paid to the fact that the commercialisation of technical progress through innovations also depends on the ability to assimilate a range of other sources of innovations, related less to the sciences and technologies and more to characteristics of the market and broader environment in which firms innovate. This paper focuses on the sectoral diversity in such sources, and on the ways in which they are assimilated and turned into commercialised innovations. The paper contributes to the extant literature by drawing on a unique survey data on Finnish innovations. The results both confirm and also challenge, and further elaborate on certain 'stylised facts' on the relationships between technological opportunities and the sources of innovation across sectors.
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Keywords: Innovations; Object-approach; Technological opportunities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Royal Institute of Technology Department of Industrial Economics and Management Stockholm Sweden 10044

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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