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Sources Of Technical Progress: Empirical Evidence From Swiss Industry

  • Najib Harabi

The aim of this paper is to empirically investigate the sources of technological opportunities. The analysis is based on a survey conducted among 358 Swiss R&D executives in 1988. The most important results can be summarized as follows: 1. Market organizations are perceived as the most important source of contributions to technical progress. The most important source is firms within the same industry; second is product users; and third, suppliers of materials and equipment used in manufacturing. 2. The contribution of non-market organizations seems relatively unimportant. University research, other government research institutions, state companies and agencies, professional and technical associations and individual inventors make small contributions. 3. Science also contributes to technical progress, even if only selectively. Education and training in physics, computer science, materials science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and applied chemistry are all considered relevant to technical progress in Switzerland. 4. Generally, university research is not considered as relevant to technical progress in the industries surveyed. In certain fields, such as computer science, materials science and electrical engineering, university research does, however, seem relevant to technical progress.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 4 (1995)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 67-76

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:4:y:1995:i:1:p:67-76
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