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Convergence and multidisciplinarity in nanotechnology: Laboratories as technological hubs

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  • Nicolas Battard

    (DIT - Dublin Institute of Technology)

Abstract

This article argues that research groups dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology are considered as technological hubs where scientists with multiple backgrounds converge in order to conduct research at the nanoscale (a billionth of a metre). Scientific production is therefore challenged as multiple ways of thinking, practices and knowledge participate in the creation of new outcomes. Through an exploratory and inductive study, I show that these technological hubs develop a specialisation based on internal competencies and stock of knowledge. The specialisation enables laboratories to position themselves as an expert among other laboratories as well as making them more visible in order to attract funding. However, multidisciplinary research is hindered by knowledge and practices that are inherited from established scientific disciplines. The lack of standards and clear definition of the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology leads young scientists, PhD students particularly, to experience a misalignment between their research, their supervision, and the outcomes they have to produce.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Battard, 2012. "Convergence and multidisciplinarity in nanotechnology: Laboratories as technological hubs," Post-Print hal-01514795, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01514795
    DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2011.09.001
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01514795
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    File URL: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01514795/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Hung-Chun & Su, Hsin-Ning, 2019. "The innovative fulcrums of technological interdisciplinarity: An analysis of technology fields in patents," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 84, pages 59-70.
    2. Sick, Nathalie & Preschitschek, Nina & Leker, Jens & Bröring, Stefanie, 2019. "A new framework to assess industry convergence in high technology environments," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 84, pages 48-58.
    3. Kim, Juram & Kim, Seungho & Lee, Changyong, 2019. "Anticipating technological convergence: Link prediction using Wikipedia hyperlinks," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 25-34.
    4. Mario Coccia, 2018. "The laws of the evolution of research fields," Papers 1805.03492, arXiv.org.
    5. Candelaria Barrios & Esther Flores & M. Ángeles Martínez & Marta Ruiz-Martínez, 2019. "Is there convergence in international research collaboration? An exploration at the country level in the basic and applied science fields," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 120(2), pages 631-659, August.

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