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Estimating the benefits from collaboration: The case of SEMATECH


SEMATECH (SEmiconductor MAnufacturing TECHnology) was established in 1987 as a not-for-profit research consortium with an original mission to provide a pilot manufacturing facility where member companies could improve their semiconductor manufacturing process technology. Since its inception, SEMATECH's mission has become more general. This paper presents the findings from a quantitative case-based analysis of the returns to member companies from their investments in SEMATECH. The findings suggest that SEMATECH has provided an organizational structure in which important processes and technologies have been advanced which could not have been justified on economic grounds outside of a collaborative research arrangement.

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This research was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation through a grant to the Center for Research in Management at the University of California at Berkeley. We gratefully acknowledge the full cooperation of management at SEMATECH by providing crucial access to key individuals and requisite data. Extremely useful comments on the material summarized came from David Mowery, and Brian Silverman, both of the University of California at Berkeley, and Laura Bauer Beecy. The conclusions presented in this paper, which draws directly from Beecy, Link, Finan, and Teece (1994), are those of the authors and not of SEMATECH or the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, John T. Scott of Dartmouth College provided excellent editorial suggestions.

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Link, A.N., Teece, D.J. & Finan, W.F. Estimating the benefits from collaboration: The case of SEMATECH. Rev Ind Organ 11, 737–751 (1996).

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Key words

  • collaborative research
  • internal rate of return