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Sources Of Technical Progress: Empirical Evidence From Swiss Industry

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  • Najib Harabi

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Najib Harabi, 1995. "Sources Of Technical Progress: Empirical Evidence From Swiss Industry," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 67-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:4:y:1995:i:1:p:67-76
    DOI: 10.1080/10438599500000015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Klevorick, Alvin K. & Levin, Richard C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Winter, Sidney G., 1995. "On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 185-205, March.
    2. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3, Specia), pages 783-832.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfgang Becker & Juergen Peters, 2000. "Technological Opportunities, Absorptive Capacities, and Innovation," Discussion Paper Series 195, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    2. Becker Wolfgang & Peters Jürgen, 2005. "Innovation Effects of Science-Related Technological Opportunities / Innovationseffekte von technologischen Möglichkeiten aus dem Wissenschaftsbereich: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Findings," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 225(2), pages 130-150, April.
    3. Najib Harabi, 2002. "The Impact of Vertical R&D Cooperation on Firm Innovation: An Empirical Investigation," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 93-108.
    4. Juergen Peters & Wolfgang Becker, 1998. "Technological Opportunities, Academic Research, and Innovation Activities in the German Automobile Supply Industry," Discussion Paper Series 175, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    5. Harabi, Najib, 1996. "Patents in Theory and Practice: Empirical Results from Switzerland," MPRA Paper 9606, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wolfgang Becker, 2003. "Evaluation of the Role of Universities in the Innovation Process," Discussion Paper Series 241, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    7. Harabi, Najib, 1997. "Vertical Relations Between Firms and Innovation: An Empirical Investigation of German Firms," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-10, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technological opportunities; sources of technical change; science; university research; Switzerland J.E.L. classification: O31;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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