used the concept "national innovation system" to capture the array of a country's social institutions and practices that influence innovation, while others believe innovation systems are local or regional phenomena, albeit dependent upon global markets. Other participants in the meeting commented that better links between science and technology data and regional economic data are needed to increase understanding of the inputs to innovation and its economic development results.

Wesley Cohen, professor of economics and social sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, remarked that because our understanding of innovation is incomplete and is itself changing, data collection efforts should try to incorporate new information that could contribute to the development of a conceptual framework of innovation. For example, statistical agencies should systematically identify and probe through pilot surveys new phenomena that anecdotal evidence suggests are important. An example mentioned by several participants is that alliances between and among otherwise competing firms are becoming more common.

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