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This volume analyses some of the major current trends and policy challenges in the 'new ecomy' from the point of view of technical invation and competence building. It brings together the leading European expertise on different topics in this field. Together the authors give a picture of the most dramatic new challenges in a world where competition is becoming increasingly kwledge-based and global. Why has the US ecomy been able to realise a so-called new ecomy based on the effective exploitation of information techlogy while Europe still suffers from chronic high rates of unemployment? How is it that contemporary ecomic systems have become more kwledge-intensive but social inequality, both within and across countries, is increasing? The contributors to this volume share the belief that kwledge is a fundamental component of ecomic growth and welfare. However, the ways in which kwledge is transmitted and distributed among ecomic agents requires shaping by public policies. The individual chapters report on the most significant policies adopted and assess them in the light of the European experience in comparison with the United States and Japan.
Bengt-Ake Lundvall is Professor of Economics at the Department for Business Studies at Aalborg University, Denmark. He has introduced the concepts of national innovation systems and of learning economy in economics. In 1992-5 he was Deputy Director at the Directorate for Science, Technology, and Industry of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and from February to July 1995 he was Visiting Professor at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg. Currently, he is Research Manager for the nationwide Danish network DRUID (Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics) and Project Director for DISKO - a project on the Danish innovation system in a comparative perspective.