IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Cross-Pollination in Science and Technology: Concept Mobility in the Nanobiotechnology Field

Listed author(s):
  • Stine Grodal
  • Grid Thoma

The emergence of new technological fields drives both scientific progress and economic growth. The emergence of technological fields necessitates a movement of knowledge between participants within the field, but little is known about the drivers and dynamics of knowledge diffusion within emerging fields. Research has shown that cross-pollination of knowledge plays an important role in innovative processes. However, these studies investigated cross-pollination at the team or individual level or through case-studies of individual technologies, while assuming that cross-pollination occurred between concepts. In this paper we move the unit of analysis to the level of the individual concept, and investigate how the cross-pollination of concepts influences concept mobility. The paper, thus, extends the literature's consideration of the impact of cross-pollination on innovative outcomes to investigating how cross-pollination influences knowledge dynamics. Our setting is the cross-pollination of knowledge between nanotechnology and biotechnology, which yielded the new subfield nanobiotechnology. Drawing on a large dataset of publications, patents and press-releases between 1991 and 2005 we track how around 133,000 concepts move from science to technology and commercialization. We find strong support for the hypothesis that cross-pollination facilitates concept mobility. Scientists who reside in commercial firms generally assist the mobility of concepts, but hinder the mobility of cross-pollinated concepts. Furthermore, if a patent contains cross-pollinated concepts it is more valuable. This paper contributes to our understanding of how cross-pollination influences the mobility of concepts between institutional contexts, and thus augments our understanding of the commercialization process.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by GENES in its journal Annals Of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): (2014)
Issue (Month): 115-116 ()
Pages: 57-80

in new window

Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2014:i:115-116:p:57-80
DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.115-116.57
Contact details of provider: Postal:
3, avenue Pierre Larousse, 92245 Malakoff Cedex

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2014:i:115-116:p:57-80. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Laurent Linnemer)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.