NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Implications for Energy Innovation from the chemical industry

Ashish Arora, Alfonso Gambardella

NBER Working Paper No. 15676
Issued in January 2010
NBER Program(s):   PR

The history of innovation in the chemical industry offers many insights for accelerating energy innovation. In this chapter, we begin by laying out the early history of the chemical industry for an overview of the role innovation has played in its development. We then explore three noteworthy historical experiences. We describe the switch in feedstocks from coal to oil, and briefly analyze two government programs that have attempted to promote innovation: synthetic rubber and synfuels. We take a close look at the role that specialized engineering firms have played in the diffusion of important innovations, and we detail the effect that government policies have had on fostering innovation. In particular, we highlight the role of anti-trust policies, and of policies for protecting intellectual property rights.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15676

Published: Implications for Energy Innovation from the Chemical Industry, Ashish Arora, Alfonso Gambardella. in Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors, Henderson and Newell. 2011

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