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Industrial Renewal and Growth through Nanotechnology ? - An Overview with Focus on Finland

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  • Palmberg, Christopher
  • Nikulainen, Tuomo

Abstract

Hardly any other field has received so much public R&D investments globally in such a short time as nanotechnology. Nanotechnology can be considered as an umbrella term for R&D at the nanometer scale (1-100 nm) where unique phenomena enable novel applications. The interest given to nanotechnology is largely due to its perceived, and partly also over-hyped, generic nature and potentials to renew industries in a revolutionary way. Nonetheless, the field is still in a fluid and nascent phase without clear indications of how and where commercial breakthroughs will emerge on a larger scale. This paper aims to conceptualize nanotechnology in the literature on the economics of technological change, review the extant empirical research towards this end, and provide a brief overview and new insights into the development of nanotechnology in Finland. It discusses to what degree nanotechnology fits the criteria of a general purpose technology (GPT) and, in this context, highlights some important issues related to technology transfer, industrial dynamics and organisation. The case of Finland is interesting due to recent and relatively significant nanotechnology policy initiatives and the competitive position that it holds in many traditional industries. Although new firms also are emerging, Finnish nanotechnology primarily appears to be driven by scientific developments and the role of large firms is still small. Patenting is picking up from a low level, and process engineering and chemicals are emerging as the main application fields.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy in its series Discussion Papers with number 1020.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1020

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Keywords: nanotechnology; general purpose technology; industrial renewal; Finland;

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References

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  1. Michael DARBY & Lynne G. ZUCKER, 2005. "Grilichesian Breakthroughs: Inventions of Methods of Inventing and Firm Entry in Nanotechnology," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 79-80, pages 143-164.
  2. Luukkonen, Terttu, 2005. "Variability in organisational forms of biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 555-570, May.
  3. Maria Luisa Mancusi, 2003. "Geographical concentration and the dynamics of countries' specialization in technologies," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 269-291.
  4. Chris Freeman, 2003. "Policies for Developing New Technologies," SPRU Working Paper Series 98, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  5. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Schumpeter and the revival of evolutionary economics: an appraisal of the literature," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 125-159, 04.
  6. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Grid Thoma, 2005. "Scientific and Technological Regimes in Nanotechnology: Combinatorial Inventors and Performance," LEM Papers Series 2005/13, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. Adner, Ron & Zemsky, Peter, 2003. "Disruptive Technologies and the Emergence of Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Jean O. Lanjouw & Mark Schankerman, 2004. "Patent Quality and Research Productivity: Measuring Innovation with Multiple Indicators," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(495), pages 441-465, 04.
  9. Verspagen,Bart, 2005. "Mapping Technological Trajectories as Patent Citation Networks. A Study on the History of Fuel Cell Research," Research Memorandum 019, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jan Youtie & Maurizio Iacopetta & Stuart Graham, 2008. "Assessing the nature of nanotechnology: can we uncover an emerging general purpose technology?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 315-329, June.
  2. Palmberg, Christopher, 2007. "Modes, Challenges and Outcomes of Nanotechnology Transfer - A Comparative Analysis University and Company Researchers," Discussion Papers 1086, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Gnidchenko, Andrey, 2011. "Моделирование Технологических И Институциональных Эффектов В Макроэкономическом Прогнозировании
    [Technologica
    ," MPRA Paper 35484, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2011.
  4. Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2013. "Generating commercial ideas in Finnish universities. The role of interdisciplinarity and networking," ETLA Working Papers 9, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  5. Christopher Palmberg, 2008. "The transfer and commercialisation of nanotechnology: a comparative analysis of university and company researchers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(6), pages 631-652, December.
  6. Kalm, Matias, 2012. "The Impact of Networking on Firm Performance - Evidence from Small and Medium-Sized Firms in Emerging Technology Areas," Discussion Papers 1278, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  7. Palmberg, Christopher, 2009. "Commercialising Eco-Efficient Nanotechnologies in the Construction Industy - The case of glass-processing in Finland," Discussion Papers 1191, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  8. Palmberg, Christopher & Pajarinen, Mika & Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2007. "Transferring Science-based Technologies to Industry - Does Nanotechnology Make a Difference?," Discussion Papers 1064, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  9. Pekka Ylä-Anttila & Christopher Palmberg, 2007. "Economic and Industrial Policy Transformations in Finland," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 169-187, December.
  10. Nikulainen, Tuomo & Kulvik, Martti, 2009. "How General Are General Purpose Technologies? Evidence from nano-, bio- and ICT-technologies in Finland," Discussion Papers 1208, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  11. Palmberg, Christopher & Nikulainen, Tuomo, . "Nanotechnology and industrial renewal in Finland - A synthesis of key findings," ETLA B, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, number 234, Spring.

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