There is increasing emphasis being put on the need to be 'internationally competitive'. This imperative is being driven, it is argued, by the globalization of economic and corporate life. This 'globalization' is the subject of a burgeoning academic literature. To achieve and maintain the necessary competitive edge requires companies to be innovative, technologically dynamic, and organizationally efficient-in a dynamic, not just static sense. There is a literature on systems of innovation analyzing such requirements, how they have been met in practice in different contexts up until now, and what the implications are for policy. However, these two literatures-on systems of innovation and globalization- have developed quite independently. The purpose of the current paper is to discuss the implications of each for the other. Far from transcending national systems of innovation, current globalization processes are shown to have a symbiotic relation to such systems.