National innovation systems and the globalization of nanotechnology innovation
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While there has been much emphasis over the last decade on the science of nanotechnology and on the implications and risks of potential applications, it is now timely to increase attention to the emerging dynamics of nanotechnology commercialization. This paper examines, from a global perspective, where and how corporations are entering into nanotechnology innovation. The paper tests the proposition that a significant shift has occurred in recent years in the orientation of corporate nanotechnology activities—from research discovery to patented applications. It also examines the extent to which the character and structure of corporate nanotechnology activity by country initially reflects national innovation system characteristics and prior public research funding inputs in the stage when discovery is most emphasized. The results indicate that national innovation systems characteristics are significant factors in the commercialization shift of nanotechnology and highlight the importance of innovation system policy factors. We also observe the influence of cross-border international invention linkages, suggesting that national innovation policies also need to be open and international in orientation.
KeywordsNanotechnology National innovation systems Corporate research Commercialization
JEL classificationO3 O5
This research received support from the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (National Science Foundation Award 0531194). The findings and observations contained in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Transatlantic Workshop on Nanotechnology Innovation and Policy, March 24–26, 2010, Atlanta, Georgia.
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