Minerva

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 237–261 | Cite as

Semiconductor Research Corporation: A Case Study in Cooperative Innovation Partnerships

  • Nathaniel Logar
  • Laura Diaz Anadon
  • Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Article

Abstract

In the study of innovation institutions, it is important to consider how different institutional models can affect a research organization in conducting or funding successful work. As an industry collaborative, Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) provides an example of a privately funded institution that leverages the inputs of several member companies, along with federal funding, to accomplish innovation in its mission area. SRC has several component programs, all attempting to find innovative solutions to semiconductor problems, but on different time scales, and in different technology areas. But how does SRC use its resources to ensure these goals? Through data gathered from semi-structured qualitative interviews and SRC documentation, this paper addresses that question. SRC has found a way to leverage industry money to motivate and develop a robust field of university research for over 30 years. SRC uses several mechanisms for maintaining an application focused, member-centered decision process, institutional flexibility, and strong ties between industry contributors and university researchers. SRC has continued to keep its members satisfied by training thousands of graduate students for employment in their member companies, by focusing on precompetitive research that addresses industry requirements, and doing so in a manner that operates leanly, with low overhead to its funders. Given these successes, we identify aspects of SRC operations, such as a focus on its member company needs, frequent interactions between funders and researchers, flexible funding mechanisms, and focus on workforce development, that may be diffusible to innovation institutions, including federal research efforts.

Keywords

Technology policy Innovation Energy Semiconductors Institutions 

References

  1. Apte, Pushkar, and George Scalise. 2009. The recession’s silver lining. IEEE Spectrum 46(10): 46–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bozeman, Barry. 2000. Technology transfer and public policy: A review of research and theory. Research Policy 29: 627–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burger R. M. 2000. Cooperative research: The new paradigm, semiconductor research corporation. (pp. 1–69). Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  4. Economist. 1980. Fighting off the Japanese. The Economist 79–80.Google Scholar
  5. Etzkowitz, Henry. 1984. Solar versus nuclear energy: Autonomous or dependent technology? Social Problems 31(4): 417–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Etzkowitz, Henry, and Richard N. Spivack. 2001. Information infrastructure for healthcare: An evaluation of a government-industry technology development initiative. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management 13(4): 507–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fuchs, Erica R. H. 2009. Cloning DARPA successfully. Issues in Science and Technology 26(1): 65–70.Google Scholar
  8. Laird, Frank N. 2001. Solar energy, technology policy, and institutional values. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Logar, Nathaniel. 2009. Towards a culture of application: Science and decision making at the national institute of standards & technology. Minerva 47: 345–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. PCAST. 2010. Report to the President on Accelerating the Pace of Change in Energy Technologies through an Integrated Federal Energy Policy. Washington, D.C.: President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology.Google Scholar
  11. Rubin, Herbert J., and Irene S. Rubin. 1995. Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data. London: SAGE Publications.Google Scholar
  12. SRC. 2009. The Energy Research Corporation. Durham, North Carolina: Semiconductor Research Corporation.Google Scholar
  13. Thurgood, Lori, Mary J. Golladay, and Susan T. Hill. 2006. U.S. Doctorates in the 20th Century. Washington D.C.: National Science Foundation.Google Scholar
  14. Tyson Laura D. ed. 1992. Who’s Bashing Whom? Trade Conflict in High-Technology Industries. Washington D.C.: Institute for International Economics.Google Scholar
  15. Zeng, Kejun, and Tu King-Ning. 2002. Six cases of reliability study of pb-free solder joints in electronic packaging technology. Materials Science and Engineering: R: Reports 38(2): 55–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathaniel Logar
    • 1
  • Laura Diaz Anadon
    • 1
  • Venkatesh Narayanamurti
    • 1
  1. 1.Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of GovernmentHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations