Closing the Innovation Gap Accelerators

Innovation is the driver of competitiveness where the world has made least progress. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, its benefits remain concentrated to few pockets of excellence and innovation ecosystems are failing to adapt to new techno-economic paradigms that can drive inclusion and sustainability.

Innovation happens everywhere, but only a few countries have managed to turn innovation activity into tangible economic and social benefits. Out of 101 middle-income economies in 1960, only 13 had become high-income in 2008. Since then, productivity growth has further slowed down globally, and is at an all-time low in advanced economies. The U.S. economy would be 17% (or 3 trillion dollars) bigger if productivity growth in 2005-2014 had been aligned to that of the previous decade.

Drawing on the work and the experiences developed in the space of competitiveness and innovation, and building on the insight of its communities, the Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society has identified four key action areas to close innovation gaps and lead innovation ecosystems towards more inclusive and sustainable techno-economic paradigms:

1. Transformative entrepreneurship, moving from a system that limits business growth and feeds subsistence, informal entrepreneurship to one that unlocks the transformative power of businesses across industries and regions

2. Patient investment, moving from a system that incentivizes short-term returns on investments to one that channels resources towards long-term innovation projects

3. New markets, moving from a system where markets are entrenched in path dependencies to one where new markets can emerge in response to new technologies and can drive inclusion and sustainability

4. Foresight, moving from a system where decisions are mostly based on past experiences to one that mainstreams foresight activities into public and private decision-making

The accelerator model drives systems change, highlighting the need for collaborative action across different scales – not just institutional structures and policies but also norms, attitudes and through the collective commitment and collaborative action of leaders.

To catalyse closing innovation gaps, Accelerators focus on:

National Level Action: The accelerator model brings together public and private sector leaders, generally Ministers and CEO's, to generate local insight, develop local needs-based action plans and drive their execution.

Global Learning Network: Each country accelerator along with champion countries are part of a global platform, to enable the acceleration of learning through the exchange of insights and experience.

Closing the Innovation Gap Playbook: The Playbook looks to provide a guide for stakeholders with tools, resources and processes for action to close innovation gaps. The Playbook is a living document which is continuously updated with new learnings and insights co-created by the Global Accelerator Network and the rest of the Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.

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