Title: Sustainable innovation through leapfrogging: a review of the evidence

Authors: Jim Watson, Raphael Sauter

Addresses: Sussex Energy Group and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), Freeman Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9QE, UK. ' Sussex Energy Group and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), Freeman Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9QE, UK

Abstract: |Environmental leapfrogging| assumes that developing countries might be able to skip some of the dirty stages of development experienced by industrialised countries. Environmental leapfrogging could, therefore, contribute to development and environmental goals including climate mitigation objectives. This paper examines the prospects for environmental leapfrogging by reviewing the literature on technology leapfrogging and a set of four case studies. It shows that leapfrogging is possible, but that the key factors for success are different in each case. It is, therefore, not possible to generalise to a large degree. Trial-and-error learning needs to be accepted as part of leapfrogging strategies.

Keywords: environmental leapfrogging; sustainable innovation; climate change; technological capabilities; industrial development; developing countries; technology leapfrogging.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTG.2011.039763

International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2011 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.170 - 189

Available online: 18 Apr 2011 *

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