Identifying, explaining and improving the effects of academic R&D: The case of nanotechnology in Sweden
Journal article, 2012

It is commonly believed that the academic sector does not generate enough value for society. This value is often measured in terms of new firms, patents and products, leading to policy responses which aim to enhance 'commercialisation' by academics. However, others maintain that academic research generates benefits in many ways, some of which are difficult to measure, and that policy must look beyond the academic sector to find ways of improving the impact of academic R & D. Applying a new version of the 'technological innovation system' framework to nanotechnology in Sweden, we find a rich pattern of impact, including substantial 'commercialisation'. However, the effect of academic activities is constrained by factors exogenous to academia, in particular a lack of knowledge about environmental and health risks, institutional and market uncertainties, poorly coordinated policies and insufficient access to innovation-related capital. Policy-makers seeking to improve the impact of academic R & D should help to resolve these issues. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Staffan Jacobsson

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Eugenia Perez Vico

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Science and Public Policy

0302-3427 (ISSN) 1471-5430 (eISSN)

Vol. 39 4 513-529

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2010-2017)

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Subject Categories

Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified



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