SMART GLOBALIZATION: Charting the evolving relationships between emerging economies and high-tech industrial regions.

The process of globalization is assuming increasingly fragmented forms, especially in business and innovation. Global relationships and networks in innovation and business, like all organizational structures, evolve over time as the fundamental institutions and dynamic drivers assume new forms and behavioural patterns. Changes in structure of markets, innovation processes, technologies, competitive structure of industries, international agreements and institutions, and most notably the accumulation of practical experience of organizations and people of cooperating on global scale, are facilitating structurally new type of process of globalization, which necessitates for nations and large scale enterprises a transition from broad guiding globalization strategies towards smaller, context specific “smart globalization strategies”.

This project proposes to study this emerging phase of globalization, especially its underlying logic and factors that facilitate highly specific and context dependent global innovation networks. Fragmentation, that is increasing specialization and interdependence of global innovation and business networks, is gaining momentum as the organizing principle of global division of innovative activities and business networks because people and organizations have grown increasingly experienced in managing and navigating global opportunities. Thus there is heightened awareness of addressing highly specific needs and services through global cooperation. In short, the process of globalization unfolds differently in the USA, Finland, Brazil, Africa, as well as in different industries, say forest products industry vis-à-vis ICT.

Employing a framework of sectoral innovation systems, the project will:

  1. map to what extent fragmentation vis-à-vis technologies, regions and industries, really characterizes globalization of innovation and business;

  2. analyze in-depth selected regional, industry, and market specific globalization processes of innovation;

  3. formulate perspectives and response-options that allow policy makers and industry leaders to respond to emerging globalization

The project runs between 2010 and 2012.


SMART G Colloquium brought together experts on innovation systems in Africa and Brazil in August 2010. Presentations and materials are available at:

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