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Tracing the links between science and technology: An exploratory analysis of scientists' and inventors' networks

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  • Breschi, Stefano
  • Catalini, Christian

Abstract

The paper provides an exploratory analysis of the research networks linking scientists working in an open science environment, and researchers involved in the private technology domain. The study combines data on scientific co-authorship with data on patent co-invention, at the level of individual researchers, for three science-intensive technology fields, i.e. lasers, semiconductors and biotechnology, in order to assess the extent of the overlap between the two communities and to identify the role of key individuals in the process of knowledge transfer. Our findings reveal that the extent of the connectedness among scientists and inventors is rather large, and that particular individuals, i.e. authors-inventors, who act as gatekeepers and bridge the boundaries between the two domains, are fundamental to ensuring this connectivity. These individuals tend to occupy prominent positions in the scientific and the technological networks. However, our results also show maintaining a very central position in the scientific network may come at the expense of being able to fill a similarly central position in a technological network (and vice versa). Finally, preliminary analysis of the institutional origins of authors-inventors shows that one characteristic, distinctive of Europe compared to the United States, is associated with the relatively lower involvement of corporate scientists at the intersection between the two worlds of science and technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

Volume (Year): 39 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 14-26

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Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:14-26

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

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Keywords: Science-technology Research networks Knowledge transfer;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ernest Miguélez & Rosina Moreno, 2013. "Skilled labour mobility, networks and knowledge creation in regions: a panel data approach," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 191-212, August.
  2. Cantner, Uwe & Rake, Bastian, 2014. "International research networks in pharmaceuticals: Structure and dynamics," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 333-348.
  3. Cassi, Lorenzo & Plunket, Anne, 2010. "The determinants of co-inventor tie formation: proximity and network dynamics," MPRA Paper 27303, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Marie Ferru & Michel Grossetti & Marie-Pierre Bès, 2011. "Measuring social embeddedness : how to identify social networks in science-industry partnerships ?," ERSA conference papers ersa11p971, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Holger Graf, 2012. "Inventor networks in emerging key technologies: information technology vs. semiconductors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 459-480, July.
  6. Maureen McKelvey & Bastian Rake, 2012. "Research Network Position and Innovative Performance: Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-021, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  7. Ugo Finardi, 2010. "Temporal and spatial relations between patents and scientific journal articles: the case of nanotechnologies," CERIS Working Paper 201007, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO).
  8. Blomkvist, Katarina & Kappen, Philip & Zander, Ivo, 2014. "Superstar inventors—Towards a people-centric perspective on the geography of technological renewal in the multinational corporation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 669-682.

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