Why is innovation so critical for development?

In a new video from Oxford University's Technology and Management Centre for Development (TMCD), entrepreneurs, policy-makers and researchers discuss innovation in developing countries. What do we mean by innovation? How can governments encourage innovators, and how can this help with development?

New DEGRP research led by the centre has been studying these questions as part of the project on the Diffusion of Innovation in Lower Income Countries. It is accompanied by a new report based on a pioneering survey which gathered data from more than 500 formal and informal firms from across Ghana. The survey sampled businesses in a large variety of industries to investigate the determinants of innovation in firms under institutional and resource constraints, and how innovation is transmitted in these contexts. This research is unique in nature. TMCD tried to open the "black box" of innovation, recognising that many innovations in the LIC context are based on learning and adaptation rather than big labs and pricey research & development.