Nanotechnology Collaboration, Information Transfer, and Field Structure

author: Emily Erikson, University of Massachusetts Amherst
.administrator: Michelle Sagan Gonçalves, University of Massachusetts Amherst
published: Feb. 25, 2009,   recorded: October 2008,   views: 2923

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Nanotechnology is a unique field encompassing many disciplines and specializations. Collaboration between firms is important the development of the field and collaboration across sub-fields may be particularly beneficial – stimulating innovation through the exchange of information. Based on a survey conducted on 242 Massachusetts nanotechnology firms, I explore the underlying factors that encourage and direct collaboration between firms. Firms are often embedded in several different networks of association – with university collaborators, industry-wide associations, informal networks of information transfer, and field identity. I consider whether these loose associations lead to more tangible types of cooperation between firms, and explore what factors push firms to create diverse ties across disciplines. Finally I consider how the resulting structure may impact firms and the industry.

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