Collaborative networks and technology clusters — The case of nanowire

Patenting activities and technology diffusion in high-tech sectors are being increasingly driven by collaborative, international and technology-based new entrants. In the realm of nanotechnology, one of the most mature structures is nanowire. This paper is concerned with the technology transfer process in the nanowire field; in particular it examines how patent collaborations occur and how the key actors interact with each other to support this process. This study uses a different methodology than previous studies in terms of patent data extraction. The methodology offers a new taxonomy that could make a significant impact on accurate patent data quests and increase the reliability of patent analyses in emerging fields such as nanotechnology. As patent data are valuable sources of technology innovation data and for forecasting technical change, this study utilises patent network analysis to visualise the actors, clusters and their relationships at the organisational, national and international levels. Overall, this study proposes a new collaborative network model to assist with analysing patenting activities between actors in regard to types of linkages. Different types of linkages between countries and organisations can be found for nanowire-related patenting activities by following the proposed network model. Findings indicate that some nations have highly centralised networks where large organisations dominate most linkages, as in the case of South Korea with regard to Samsung. Nations such as the US and Japan have a more distributed network where academic and industrial players are linked with each other. In the case of China, there were mono-linkages between large organisations such as Foxconn and Tsinghua University, which was the key with regard to collaborative innovation there.

Author(s): Sercan Ozcan and Nazrul Islam
Organization(s): Aberystwyth University
Source: Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Year: 2013

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