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Innovative Transformation of Superplatforms

Abstract

Superplatforms – diversified digital corporations from the United States (Amazon, Google and others grouped in FAMGA/GAFAM) and China (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent) dominating the Internet markets – are the leading actors of digital economy. In terms of revenue, markets, and capitalization they are already among the largest multinational corporations. Many basic factors of their success are still in place, but increased competition, diminishing importance of low base effects and other challenges forced them to sharpen focus on innovations and emerging technologies since late 2000s – early 2010s. This process was supported by a strong influx of capital from financial markets. As a result, superplatforms executed strong growth of research and development (R&D) expenditures and investments in venture markets – especially in the domain of emerging technologies. By the end of 2010s, superplatforms appeared among leading technology and innovation actors of respective National Innovation Systems (NIS) in terms of their share of national business R&D, venture investments and because of unique role in promoting digital transformation of the U.S.A. and China. It may also be stated, that superplatforms now are an important factor of both potential and competitiveness of the superpowers, including issues of digital sovereignty. For the future, disruptive innovations and technologies will still be in focus of the superplatforms. This is especially true since superplatforms need new quality of innovative development: further accelerated increase of R&D and venture investments seem to be almost impossible in new realm of the financial markets. The process will be more influenced by the external factors, than in the previous decade. (Among them are changes in the regulatory environment – also to compensate challenging monopolistic behaviors of FAMGA and BAT; changing global trade and investment dynamics – including technological “war” between the U.S.A. and China; rise of global competition). As a result, we may envision further rise of importance of the superplatforms for NIS and their transformation into a new factor of economic and digital power – and new arena of global competition for the U.S.A. and China.

Keywords:

superplatforms; digital economy; research and development; venture markets; national innovation systems; digital transformation; emerging technologies; ecosystems.


Authors: Ivan Danilin

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