World development is at a critical turning point. Globalisation has become ever more impactful. At the same time, we see a new long term industrial development cycle (or techno-economic paradigm; TEP) coming into full swing that builds on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) while societies all over the world have to cope with sustainability challenges. These changes lead to a situation where industrial leadership may rapidly shift from one country to another. Europe 2020 reckoned these challenges under its Flagship Initiatives, in particular “An industrial policy for the globalisation era’’. Drawing on scholarship from the field of Innovation Studies, GLOTRAINS aims to make major contributions to the emerging global innovation system frameworks, combining literatures on industrial catch-up cycles and shifts in global leadership. More specifically, the project aims at further elaborating the Innovation System framework to encompass a globalised and dynamic perspective, while asking whether and how national industrial policy can still play a decisive role. Empirically, this project focuses on both long and short cycle sectors to reflect the two main propositions of the TEP hypothesis, i.e. the sustainability-driven clean-tech sector and the ICT sector. Both involve different types of catch-up mechanisms. Fieldwork cases are organised along a gradient of development stages represented by the countries of Germany, China/Taiwan and Malaysia. The selection of these countries provides an excellent base to examine global catch-up cycles and industrial leadership shifts. The researcher has experience in both transition and catch-up studies, with fieldwork experience in both long and short cycle sectors in China, Taiwan and Malaysia.
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