This is the introductory piece in a volume of articles edited by leading scholars in innovation studies analysing the technological and economical development of newly industrialising countries, especially those in East Asia. This introduction focuses on the processes of technological learning through which the capabilities underpinning the economic development of those countries were built up. It emphasises particularly the complementary roles of the acquisition of foreign technologies and domestic technological efforts in these learning processes. Central to this was the major importance of reverse engineering of foreign technologies and other imitative engineering efforts at the early stages of development, and how they evolved to creative imitations and innovative research and development activities as these countries approached the technological frontier.


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