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Nanotechnology as general purpose technology

Author

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  • Kreuchauff, Florian
  • Teichert, Nina

Abstract

Scientific literature postulates that nanotechnology is to be considered as general purpose technology (GPT), characterized by pervasiveness, high technological dynamism and the inducement of innovations within a variety of applications. We set out to not only further systematize existing approaches investigating nanotechnology's GPT traits based on patent applications, but to extend the analysis to academic publication data, in order to cover both knowledge creation and application development. By utilizing well established and consolidated indicators of GPT features, such as generality, diffusion, and forward citation rates, as well as contextualized technological coherence as a new weighted generality measure, we compare nanotechnology's research output to the ones of ICT as accepted GPT and of the combustion engine as a non- GPT, representing an upper and lower benchmark, respectively. Moreover, we add the EU27 as new institutional setting. Our results indicate that while nanotechnology is not as clearly perceptible a GPT as ICT is, the potential to develop as such and hence to become an 'engine of growth' is clearly given.

Suggested Citation

  • Kreuchauff, Florian & Teichert, Nina, 2014. "Nanotechnology as general purpose technology," Working Paper Series in Economics 53, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kitwps:53
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
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    6. Jan Youtie & Maurizio Iacopetta & Stuart Graham, 2008. "Assessing the nature of nanotechnology: can we uncover an emerging general purpose technology?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 315-329, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    general purpose technology; nanotechnology; patents; publications; generality; technological coherence;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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