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Title: The lion with wings: innovation system dynamics in the aerospace industry of Singapore

Authors: Daniel Vertesy

Addresses: UNU-MERIT, Keizer Karelplein 19, 6211TC Maastricht, The Netherlands; Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Via E. Fermi 2749, 21027 Ispra (VA), Italy; Corvinus University of Budapest, Fővám tér 8, 1093 Budapest, Hungary

Abstract: This paper investigates the emergence and growth of Singapore's aerospace manufacturing industry. Singapore is unique among latecomers in the sector, because of the continuous growth it achieved by establishing world-class component manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities. We use a sectoral innovation system dynamics framework to analyse the evolution of institutions and technological capabilities in the sector. Empirical evidence on innovative and productive activities shows that a strategic choice of openness, in addition to the strong linkages between companies and between industry and government facilitated the emergence of a sectoral innovation system early on. We also find that the initial choice of specialisation and the close embeddedness of the sectoral innovation system in the national innovation system allowed Singapore to flexibly respond to global and regional crises in the sector and sustain growth.

Keywords: aircraft industry; Singapore; catching up; sectoral systems of innovation; maintenance; repair; overhaul; MRO; innovation system dynamics; aerospace manufacturing; technological capabilities; national innovation systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTG.2013.052027

International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2013 Vol.7 No.1/2, pp.118 - 140

Available online: 10 Feb 2013 *

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