The Journal of Technology Transfer

, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 546–564 | Cite as

Nanotechnology’s triple helix: a case study of the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering



In 2001, New York State teamed with IBM to create a research center for nanoelectronics at the University at Albany. Since then, the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) has been expanded with over $6 billion in investment, attracted over 250 industrial collaborators, and awarded 72 graduate degrees. This paper discusses the formation of the triple helix center in Albany, NY. It then examines the impact of the CNSE on the regional economy and compares it with three other nanotechnology triple helix centers. The analysis finds that the CNSE is more successful at generating nanoknowledge as measured by publications and patents. Much of the research conducted at CNSE has been collaborative effort between university and industrial partners and often resulted in patents assigned to industrial partners. Since 2001, there has been qualitative and quantitative evidence of the emergence of a nanotechnology cluster in the Capital Region of NY. Upstate NY has become home to multiple nanotechnology firms and experienced growth in the employment in nanotechnology related industries. Potential explanations for the success of the CNSE are explored including the anchor tenant hypothesis and the entrepreneurial university.


Nanotechnology University-industry collaboration Triple helix Research center Regional development 

JEL Classification

O32 O33 L32 L63 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Nanoscale Science and EngineeringAlbanyUSA

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