This analysis of the impacts of science and technology (S&T) policies of the US, UK, Taiwanese and South Korean governments on 86 new products developed by firms within these countries helps answer ever-present questions about the effectiveness of such policies. In the USA and UK, little evidence was found of government policies having any direct effects on private sector new product innovation activities. By contrast, evidence was found that the South Korean and Taiwanese governments have played a major role in increasing their countries' new product innovation activities through tax credits, direct and indirect grants, low interest loans, intellectual property regulations and other mechanisms. Consistent with conventional wisdom, these differences appeared to be rooted in dissimilar east-west cultures and related institutionalised expectations about the role of governments. Surprisingly, government agencies were not found to be important sources of either technologies or information useful in developing new products in any of the four countries. Instead, the firm's own networks of colleague firms, suppliers and customers were more important sources. These results suggest that S&T policies in all four countries should be redirected towards encouraging networking, collaborative R&D and information exchange between firms, suppliers and customers.