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Building an innovation-driven economy – the case of BRIC and GCC countries

Steffen Gackstatter (Monitor Company GmbH, Munich, Germany)
Maxim Kotzemir (National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)
Dirk Meissner (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 5 August 2014




The purpose of this paper is to undertake an analysis of the attempts of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries to catch up in their national development to build an innovation-driven economy on which to base future growth and wealth. We conducted an analysis of GCC and BRIC countries to show the different strategies leaders have taken to try and achieve this aspiration. This paper analyses the various aspects of national innovation systems of BRIC and GCC countries, highlights similar and different approaches and attempts to quantify their success. For example, GCC countries spend extensively on research and development (R&D), but have so far achieved less than meaningful results. Brazil, China and India are catching up to the acknowledged world leaders in innovation, but Russia is lagging.


Our comparison was based mostly on secondary data from sources and institutions that use statistical data to build country rankings, such as the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) produced by the World Economic Forum. BRIC and GCC countries were analyzed over 1996-2011 because most of the indicators data are only available from 1996. Data related to intellectual property rights have been collected since 1999 or 2000. The data available for the number of researchers proved problematic for both BRIC and GCC countries. For instance, some data for the GCC countries was missing. To not leave a gap, we extrapolated in line with the overall trend; using the least squares method to approximate a straight line for the missing data based on what had already been reported.


Counter-intuitively, we will argue that the push toward an innovation-based economy is actually not dependent on total expenditure on R&D, but rather relies on the efficient allocation of investments and the rigorous implementation of innovation strategy. And, we will demonstrate this by showing our ideas in relation to both BRIC and GCC countries. This analysis raises fascinating points of discussion for those looking to build an innovation economy in other countries and has practical implications for policy-makers and policy implementers in all countries.


First analysis of the correlation of gross expenditure on R&D (GERD) with gross domestic product (GDP) growth and Straits Times Index (STI) policy measures.



The study was implemented in the framework of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in 2012.


Gackstatter, S., Kotzemir, M. and Meissner, D. (2014), "Building an innovation-driven economy – the case of BRIC and GCC countries", Foresight, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 293-308.



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