Sustainable innovation through leapfrogging: A review of the evidence

TitleSustainable innovation through leapfrogging: A review of the evidence
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsWatson, J, Sauter, R
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Globalisation
Start Page170
ISBN Number14765667
Keywordsclimate change, Industrial development, Innovation, Leapfrogging, Technological capabilities

'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. Copyright © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.