From Science to Technology: The Value of Knowledge From Different Energy Research Institutions
Using an original data set of both scientific articles and patents pertaining to alternative energy technologies, this paper provides new evidence on the flows of knowledge between university, private sector, and government research. Better understanding of the value of knowledge from these institutions can help decision makers target R&D funds where they are most likely to be successful. I use citation data from both scientific articles and patents to answer two questions. First, what information is most useful to the development of new technology? Does high quality science lead to commercial success? I find that this is the case, as those articles most highly cited by other scientific articles are also more likely to be cited by future patents. Second, which institutions produce the most valuable research? Are there differences across technologies? Research performed at government institutions appears to play an important translational role linking basic and applied research, as government articles are more likely to be cited by patents than any other institution, including universities. Universities play a less important role in wind research than for solar and biofuels, suggesting that wind energy research is at a more applied stage where commercialization and final product development is more important than basic research.
This work was supported by NSF grant # SMA-1064161. Jung Eun Kim, Qing Miao and Tian Tang all provided excellent research assistance on this project. I thank Mort Webster for comments on earlier versions of this research. Finally, I thank Ann Beynon and Lauren Cygler of Thomson Reuters for their assistance in obtaining the publication data used in this paper. Certain data included herein are derived from the Web of Science Core Collection ® prepared by THOMSON REUTERS ®, Inc. (Thomson ®), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA: © Copyright THOMSON REUTERS ® 2012. All rights reserved. Thomson Reuters reserves the right to review the paper prior to dissemination to ensure that the confidentiality of the data is not unintentionally compromised. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
David Popp, 2017. "From science to technology: The value of knowledge from different energy research institutions," Research Policy, .