Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Many High Technology Firms rather Signal than actually Do Nanotechnology

20.11.2007
M Sc. (Econ.) Nina Granqvist defends her doctoral thesis in the area of organization and management with the title ”Nanotechnology and Nanolabeling – Essays on the Emergence of New Technological Fields” at Helsinki School of Economics on Friday November 23, 2007.

Nanotechnology is forecasted to be among the most significant technologies of the current century, and one of the important megatrends of this decade. Nanotechnology refers to a size scale of one billionth of a meter, and to the new physical phenomena the size scale reveals. It is currently being applied e.g. in sensors, diagnostics, materials and the memories of computers. In her PhD thesis, Granqvist studies the emergence of nanotechnology as a domain of public investment and business activity in Northern Europe and USA. She interviewed some 60 people and analyzed over 200 publications for her research.

The thesis reveals that the emergence of new technologies is enabled by various parallel processes. The roots of nanotechnology are, on the one hand, in the development of science and technology towards ever smaller size scale since the 1950s. On the other hand, the very creation and dissemination of the concept in the American science fiction literature played a role in its wider dissemination. Due to political processes, nanotechnology became established to refer to research and development in the very small size scale. The birth of nanotechnology in Finland was aligned with the global development. However, the form and function it took reflected the local competences and institutions. The Finnish nanotechnology program in 1997-1999 was one of the first nanotechnology programs globally. Launching the program was enabled by the visions and autonomy of experts in the public funding organizations, as well as researchers’ international networks and established competencies in nanotechnology related areas.

Granqvist also investigated how nanotechnology was transferred from research to business. Companies have certain reputational and visibility related benefits from being associated with novel technologies. However, the research shows that companies that are attracted by new technologies signal nanotechnology even though their activities would not reach into that size scale. According to the research, up to half of the companies signaling nanotechnology do not match the widely accepted definitions for the technology. Further, only small part of the business and revenues of most true nanotechnology companies’ business come from these technologies. In addition to this, many true nanotechnology firms do what they have always done, but now under the new nano-label.

According to Granqvist such signaling activity is a central driver of the emergence of all fashionable technologies, where demand for the label exists, but where the participants have an unclear understanding of what the new technology is about. This enables opportunism of companies in the short term. Over a longer period of time the participants begin to understand what the new core technologies are and who develop them. As a consequence, the boundaries of the domain of operation begin to close, which forms the embryo of a new industry. Views on what nanotechnology is, and is not, develop in a similar manner as a result of learning of the involved parties.

More information. The public defense begins at 12.00 at the STORA ENSO room of Chydenia building, address Runeberginkatu 22–24, at Helsinki School of Economics. Professor Michael Lounsbury, PhD, (University of Alberta, School of Business) acts as the opponent and Professor Kari Lilja as kustos. Representatives of media are advised to inquire the study from Marjatta Vuorinen +358 (0)9 4313 8292 of the Department of Marketing and Management. Publication is sold by KY Bookstore in the Helsinki School of Economics main building, address Runeberginkatu 14–16.

Terhi Ollikainen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hse.fi

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers
24.01.2017 | Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS

nachricht European XFEL prepares for user operation: Researchers can hand in first proposals for experiments
24.01.2017 | European XFEL GmbH

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>