The Impacts of Commercialization-Oriented Science and Technology Programs on University Research: The Case of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative

32 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2012

See all articles by Hyun Jung

Hyun Jung

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST)

Jeongsik Lee

Drexel University - LeBow College of Business

Date Written: July 13, 2012

Abstract

We examine how the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a recent U.S. government’s science and technology (S&T) program launched in 2000, impacts the nature of university research in nanotechnology. We characterize the NNI as a policy intervention that targets the commercialization of technology and a focused research direction to promote national economic growth. As such, we expect that the NNI has brought about unintended consequences in the direction of university-industry knowledge flows and the characteristics of university research output in nanotechnology. Using the difference-in-differences analysis of the U.S. nanotechnology patents filed between 1996 and 2007, we find that, for the U.S. universities, the NNI has increased knowledge inflows from the industry, diminished the branching-out to novel technologies, reduced the research scope, and decreased the likelihood of technological breakthroughs, as compared to other U.S. and non-U.S. research institutions. Our findings suggest that, at least in the case of the NNI, targeted S&T programs of the government may increase the efficiency of university research, but potentially do so at a price.

Keywords: Science and technology, university research, nanotechnology, patent, knowledge flow, National Nanotechnology Initiative, difference-in-differences estimation

Suggested Citation

Jung, Hyun and Lee, Jeongsik, The Impacts of Commercialization-Oriented Science and Technology Programs on University Research: The Case of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (July 13, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2116520 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2116520

Hyun Jung

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) ( email )

gil 50
Ulsan, 689-798
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jeongsik Lee (Contact Author)

Drexel University - LeBow College of Business ( email )

3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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