Which Model of Technology Transfer for Nanotechnology? A Comparison with Biotech and Microelectronics
Nanotechnologies are often presented as breakthrough innovations, where technology transfer and knowledge-bridging will play a pivotal role in the industrial dynamics. This article investigates the model of knowledge transfer in the nanotechnologies in depth, by comparing it with the models of two recently emerged technologies: biotech and microelectronics. Our results show that the nanotechnology transfer model is very different from that involved in biotechnology evolution: while small-medium firms play a valuable technology-bringing role, the central function of "translating" new knowledge between public research and industry is carried by the larger firms, just as it was in the early stages of the microelectronics sector. These results suggest that specific policy initiatives to facilitate biotech's transfer are inappropriate to boost the diffusion of nanotechnology.
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