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Valleys of Death and Darwinian Seas: Financing the Invention to Innovation Transition in the United States

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  • Auerswald, Philip E
  • Branscomb, Lewis M
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    Abstract

    The basic science and technology research enterprise of the United States--sources of funding, performing institutions, researcher incentives and motivations--is reasonably well understood by academics and policy makers alike. Similarly corporate motivations, governance, finance, strategy, and competitive advantage have been much studied and are relatively well understood. But the process by which a technical idea of possible commercial value is converted into one or more commercially successful products--the transition from invention to innovation--is highly complex, poorly documented, and little studied. In this paper we discuss the process by which basic research is converted into successful commercial innovations. Following Arrow (1962) and Zeckhauser (1996), we explore the hypothesis that asymmetries of information and motivation, as well as institutional "gaps," may systematically deter private investment into early stage technology development. We describe the role of governments--federal and state (or provincial)--in promoting the commercial transition from an invention to an innovation. We conclude by suggesting some lessons that may be learned from the experience of the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) of the United States Department of Commerce, among the few Federal programs specifically intended to meet this need. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Technology Transfer.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 3-4 (August)
    Pages: 227-39

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:28:y:2003:i:3-4:p:227-39

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    Cited by:
    1. Catarina Maia & João Claro, 2013. "The role of a Proof of Concept Center in a university ecosystem: an exploratory study," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(5), pages 641-650, October.
    2. G. Page West III & Charles E. Bamford & Jesse W. Marsden, 2008. "Contrasting Entrepreneurial Economic Developments in Less-Developed Latin American Markets: Applications and Extensions of Resource-Based Theory," Discussion Paper Series 2008-03, McColl School of Business, Queens University of Charlotte.
    3. Samantha Bradley & Christopher Hayter & Albert Link, 2013. "Proof of Concept Centers in the United States: an exploratory look," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 349-381, August.
    4. Maryann Feldman & Alexandra Graddy-Reed, 2014. "Accelerating commercialization: a new model of strategic foundation funding," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 503-523, August.
    5. Christiane Gebhardt, 2013. "The making of plasma medicine. Strategy driven clusters and the emerging roles of cluster management and government supervision," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 401-414, August.
    6. Einar Rasmussen & Paul Benneworth & Magnus Gulbrandsen, 2013. "Scoping paper: Developing University Innovation Capacity: How can innovation policy effectively harness universities’ capability to promote high-growth technology businesses?," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20131007, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    7. Melaina, Marc W., 2007. "Turn of the century refueling: A review of innovations in early gasoline refueling methods and analogies for hydrogen," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 4919-4934, October.
    8. Branco Ponomariov, 2013. "Government-sponsored university-industry collaboration and the production of nanotechnology patents in US universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 749-767, December.
    9. M. Schoonmaker & E. Carayannis & P. Rau, 2013. "The role of marketing activities in the fuzzy front end of innovation: a study of the biotech industry," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(6), pages 850-872, December.
    10. Itzhak Goldberg & John Gabriel Goddard & Smita Kuriakose & Jean-Louis Racine, 2011. "Igniting Innovation : Rethinking the Role of Government in Emerging Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2358, August.

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