Innovation and technological change are repeatedly recognized as the main driving forces for economic development and growth. Economies which are characterized by faster growth rates compared to others are those which are in a position to create and economically use new technologies, production processes and products more successfully. In addition, economic development depends on the increasing process of globalization. Economies have to be integrated within global markets in order to get access to information, technology and expertise that are necessary to become and stay competitive on domestic and foreign markets. This is true for both highly industrialized and latecomer economies such as those located in Central and Eastern Europe. It is the latter group of economies that is at the heart of this book as special emphasis is put on a former socialist country of Eastern Europe - Serbia.
The practicability of this new approach on innovation system analysis is demonstrated in the last part of the book. In Central and Eastern European countries the omotive industry has become a symbol of decisive economic and social changes during their period of transition in the 1990s. The development of the Serbian omotive industry seems to be a matter of particular interest in this respect. The role of the omotive industry was of importance in nearly all Central and Eastern European countries in the past; their industries were running through processes of recovering and restructuring right from the beginning of the economies' transition. The situation in Serbia is quite different. Until the 1980s the former Yugoslav omotive industry was one of the most successful industries of the country. On the contrary, the actual Serbian omotive industry still suffers from embargo measures enforced during the 1990s Balkan wars as well as from its socialist heritage. This book offers an answer to the question, whether the Serbian omotive system of innovation is confronted with structural national or sectoral problems that make the industry's upgrading and its integration into the global omotive chain difficult.