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Article
Technological diversity, scientific excellence and the location of inventive activities abroad: The case of nanotechnology
Journal of Technology Transfer (2009)
  • Andrea Fernández-Ribas, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Philip Shapira
Abstract
Our contribution to the expanding literature on the globalization of research and innovation is to investigate the extent to which sector-specific developments in an emerging technology (such as increasing interdisciplinarity and complexity) affect inventive activities developed abroad. We look at how technological diversity and scientific excellence of host countries in the field of nanotechnology affect the development of inventive activities by US multinational companies (MNCs). We identify the most active US-based MNCs in nanotechnology-related patenting and examine location decisions of these companies and their international subsidiaries. Econometric results confirm our hypothesis that technological breadth of host countries positively influence the expected number of inventions developed abroad by US MNCs. S&T capabilities of countries also have a positive impact on the decision to invent abroad, while the influence of market specific factors is less clear. We interpret these results as suggesting that host country S&T capabilities are important to attract innovative activities by MNCs, but as the interdisciplinary and convergent nature of nanotechnology evolves, access to a broadly diversified knowledge base becomes important, increasing the relative attractiveness of host locations.
Keywords
  • Multinationals,
  • Innovation,
  • Location,
  • Patents,
  • Nanotechnology
Publication Date
2009
Publisher Statement
The downloadable paper is a pre-print. For the revised and published version, see: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10961-008-9090-2
Citation Information
Andrea Fernández-Ribas and Philip Shapira. "Technological diversity, scientific excellence and the location of inventive activities abroad: The case of nanotechnology" Journal of Technology Transfer 34 (2009): 286-303. For the revised and published version, see: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10961-008-9090-2