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Knowledge economy

The "Knowledge Economy" refers to the use of knowledge to produce economic benefits. The phrase came to prominence in New Zealand in the mid-to late-1990s as a way of referring to the manner in which various high-technology businesses, especially computer software, telecommunications and virtual services, as well as educational and research institutions, can contribute to a country's economy.

A key concept of this sector of economic activity is that knowledge and education can be treated as a business product and that educational and innovative intellectual products and services can be exported for a high value return.

A number of New Zealand businesses had been identified as being highly innovative and leading their fields as a result of the knowledge and intellectual creativity that went into their products and services. The resulting success is seen as a pathway for others to follow.

Other terms for the concept include Knowledge Society and Knowledge Wave, as in catching or riding the knowledge wave in a similar manner that a surfer catches and rides a surf wave.