The ability to innovate, create, combine and incorporate knowledge in the creation and development of new products or services has become a major driving force for the destiny of nations. Advanced countries have the necessary attributes to compete in the production of knowledge-intensive goods and services. Emerging countries seemingly have an insuperable advantage in cost-competitive and labour-intensive production. However, the countries that show weak or modest levels of innovative performance and intermediate levels of development are living in a limbo, in a ‘Rubicon moment’ of their history. Since they do not have the competitive attributes to compete with the more advanced countries or the emerging ones, they either ‘cross the river’ and join the select club of the advanced economies by developing their national innovation systems, making them robust and dynamic, or they just ‘stand on the sidelines’ and live in a permanent dilemma or, in the worst scenario, face severe economic stagnation and decline.