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In this paper the authors analyse the role of sectoral innovation systems in the emergence and catch-up of aerospace industries in latecomer economies. They argue that the aerospace sector is characterized by a process of interrupted innovation. Competitive pressures and the cyclical nature of the industry not only require shifts in the direction of innovation and changes in the production system, but also periodical restructuring of the whole sectoral system of innovation. They conclude that the emerging economies that have succeeded in catching up in aerospace are those that have established a competitive industrial sector with a sectoral innovation system which is able to adapt flexibly to radically changing circumstances.
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