Recent studies on systems of innovation have called for the need to deepen the theoretical framework and widen the empirical use of this concept. After examining four nodal points of systems of innovation theory, namely, what defines a system, what is the role of institutions, how does the system evolve, and what are the ethos and telos of innovation systems, this report suggests that the theoretical deepening has to be undertaken through more decidedly multi-functional focus and interdisciplinary approaches. As what regards widening the empirical use of this concept, the report will define some key research issues about the European System of Innovation. The previous theoretical points will be used to argue that a European System of Innovation (ESI) has been emerging along the rapid path of European integration the past two decades. After that, some central issues of the ESI will be succinctly examined, in particular the new trends in research and knowledge production, intellectual property rights regime, private financing of innovation, disparities and diversity in Europe, trust and social values in science, and other broad innovation-related issues.
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