This article analyzes the multiple innovation trajectories and changes in competitive strategy in Singapore as it evolves from an industrial economy to a knowledge-based economy. In addition to the existing national innovation system in the well-heeled industrial manufacturing sectors such as electronics, chemicals, and precision engineering, a new mode of innovation has been evolving in the research-intensive biomédical industries cluster, which emphasizes a special role for the academic sector in the innovation milieu. Biotech investments at the moment appear to pose high risks due to the rather amorphous and unclear market signals coming out of the industry. However, as technologies become more speculative, governments do need to spread their bets more widely to enable more possibilities to emerge. The challenges and opportunities Singapore faces have relevance to other states seeking to adopt new policies for gaining competitiveness and national comparative advantage in an era of globalization.
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