The “National innovation policy and global open innovation: exploring balances, tradeoffs and complementarities” by Sverre Herstad, Carter Bloch, Bernd Ebersberger and Els Van de Velde has recently been published in Science and Public Policy. The aim of this paper is to suggest a framework for examining the way national policy mixes are responding to the challenges and opportunities of globally distributed knowledge networks, cross- sectoral technology flows and consequently open innovation processes occurring on an international scale. We argue that the purpose of public research and innovation policy remains one of developing and sustaining territorial knowledge bases capable of growing and supporting internationally competitive industries. But the rules of the game have changed. Public policy now needs to carefully balance between: a) promoting the formation of international linkages for knowledge sourcing and information exposure; b) providing incentives for domestic industry intramural R&D for building absorptive capacity and knowledge accumulation; and c) sustaining domestic networking to allow accumulated knowledge to diffuse and recombine.