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Innovation in low- and medium-technology industries


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Robertson, PL, Smith, KH and von Tunzelmann, N 2009 , 'Innovation in low- and medium-technology industries' , Research Policy, vol. 38, no. 3 , pp. 441-446 , doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.019.

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The role of low- and medium-technology (LMT) firms and
industries in modern economies is complex and frequentlymisunderstood.
Significantly, the title of Hatzichronoglou’s (1997) widely
used revision of the OECD classification of sectors and products
refers explicitly only to high technology.By implication, the remainder
of the economy is known by what it is not (high technology)
and what it does not do (spend more than five percent of revenues
on research and development). Arguably, this has contributed to
an unfortunate tendency to understate the importance of technological
change outside such R&D-intensive fields as information
and communications technology (ICT) and biotechnology. Although their products and production
processes may be highly complex and capital intensive, LMT enterprises
are often regarded as being somewhat old-fashioned or
even passé. In comparison to high-tech industries, their markets
are generally mature and may be slow-growing and subject to
over-capacity and high levels of price competition. During the globalisation
movement of the past few decades, some LMT activities
have been prime candidates for relocation from highly industrialised
to newly industrialising economies. When they manage to
survive in older economies, LMT sectors acquire unfortunate tags
such as ‘rust belt’.
Nevertheless, LMT sectors are central to economic well-being.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Robertson, PL and Smith, KH and von Tunzelmann, N
Journal or Publication Title: Research Policy
ISSN: 0048-7333
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.019
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