Obituary Jorge Niosi (1945 – 2023)
On May 8, 2023, Jorge Niosi passed away in Montreal after a long illness. Throughout his academic life, Jorge Niosi was a global, overall appreciated economist, active on all continents, who effortlessly crossed the bridge between business and economics innovation research like few others. Jorge was a brilliant thought leader in the theory of innovation systems, in the field of economic development through innovation, in the internationalization of R&D, in sectoral theories of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry, in vehicle manufacturing, and in heavy industry. At the same time, he has been involved all his life in scientific organizations, as an editor, and as a sought-after advisor to policy makers and industry, thus intensively putting into practice the idea of knowledge transfer between university and industry.
Jorge Niosi is from Argentina and has been a professor at the École des sciences de la gestion at the University of Quebec in Montreal since 1970. Jorge previously studied and obtained his PhD in Paris. He continued in Montreal his entire career as a researcher and, despite his loyalty to UQAM, over the last 50 years, he was one of the most visible scientists internationally and present in all conferences all over the globe. He started his career at the Department of Sociology and then moved to Administrative Sciences, before finally arriving at Management. Since 1986, he was the director of the Centre de recherche en développement industriel et technologique (CRÉDIT), which he founded, and then headed the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST). Until his retirement in 2015, he held the Canadian Research Chair in Technology Management and Policy.
His doctoral thesis was already devoted to a core topic of Schumpeterian innovation research. He examined the role of entrepreneurs in Argentina. This book was to be followed by numerous other books and academic articles. Jorge has been extremely prolific, with 14 books and more than 65 articles, and his work has been cited several thousand times to date. One of his last publications was the Special Issue in the Journal of Evolutionary Economics "Building Bridges" which he published in 2018 together with Andreas Pyka. This was a follow-up from his term as President of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society from 2014 to 2016 and the bi-annual conference of the Society which he organized in Montreal in 2016.
Everyone in innovation economics is familiar with his ideas on innovation systems which he prominently published, among the early propagators of this concept, already in 1993 in the article “National systems of innovation: in search of a workable concept” in Volume 15 of Technology in Society together with Pier-Paolo Saviotti, Bertrand Bellon and Michael Crow.
In addition to his valuable work in the Schumpeter Society, in particular as President and organizer of one of the Society's most successful conferences in North America, Jorge Niosi was also very active in closely related scientific associations, taking on responsible roles. For example, he was a long-time member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Globelics. As a consultant, his knowledge was valued at the Inter-American Development Bank, at UNCTAD, and at various Canadian political institutions. His successful scientific work has been recognized by many awards, including the John Porter Award of the Canadian Sociological Society or by being appointed as a visiting scholar at Stanford.
Jorge Niosi was not only an esteemed colleague, he was an important international visible representative of our ideas, who advanced the intellectual development of Schumpeterian economic research and who, through his great influence in economics, politics and society, always put Schumpeterian ideas in the center of attention. We lose with him a great scientist and a good always loyal and committed cosmopolitan friend. Our thoughts are with his wife Maria and his family. We will always honor his memory.
Andreas Pyka (University of Hohenheim, Germany)
Uwe Cantner (Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany, and Secretary General of the International Joseph A. Schumpeter Society)